Michelle Collins explains the reasons why she agreed to take part in Bear Grylls: Mission Survive and reveals what she hopes to gain from the experience. Bear Grylls: Mission Survive starts Thursday 3rd March at 9pm on ITV.
Why did you want to take part in Mission Survive?
I've never wanted to do this sort of show - actors are better with scripts! That said, I think doing something way out of my comfort zone is a brilliant idea. People would pay to do this. And I love Bear. I could go on Mastermind about him! The downside is that I am going with people that I may love or I may hate.
What experience do you have of camping and the great outdoors?
I was in the Woodcraft Folk as a kid! We cooked on fires and that kind of thing, so I'm hoping to remember how to do that. As an adult, I go to festivals, but it's glamping. I've been in the jungle before, I've been to the Amazon. I’ve travelled quite widely and I’ve visited Soweto with Oxfam so I am used to challenging places but being at one with nature will be incredible. London is great but only if you can leave it from time to time.
Do you have any fears?
Water, heights, confined spaces! My biggest fear is eating meat. I've been a vegetarian for most of my life. I ate a bit of chicken when I had my daughter, but I haven't eaten it for a long time. So that will be difficult for me. At home, I eat little and often, so it will be interesting to see what happens when I don't eat properly.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I don't give up easily. I'm certainly not a lazy person. I'm 53 so I'm one of the oldest but I'd like to prove women like me can go out and do that stuff. I think it's showing people we're still strong and we can still do it. Weaknesses? I can get a bit moody sometimes and a bit withdrawn.
How do you think you'll get on with the group?
Most actors are quite shy but we learn how to deal with it. I do like talking to people. I'm one of those mad dog people you see in the park, chatting to everyone. I don't suffer fools, though. I hope the others are sensible. I don't like people who have a side. My boyfriend says I'm a control freak but I'm not! If I have an idea I will want to put it forward. I'm certainly not bossy, though, and I will be careful about what I say as I don't want to hurt people's feelings.
Do you want to win?
It would be nice, but I'm not going in there to win it. I just don't want to feel like I've failed. Who knows? I could surprise myself. Perhaps we don't know ourselves as well as we think we do.
Have you done any preparation?
Well, I’m quite fit anyway, I do hot yoga and running. I have a bit of a ritual where I walk my dog and have a coffee at the cafe down the road, and I think I may need to cut that out before I go, to wean my body off it. I'm already not drinking alcohol, because I want to be focused, and I've been having lots of massages. But I can't sleep! I've got so much on my mind, I can't get a proper night's sleep, which is not good preparation.
What creature comforts will you miss?
Having no phone will be hard, but also liberating. I'm not the sort of person who takes endless selfies or anything. But being out of contact and not speaking to my daughter will be hard. I'm going to miss radio and music. I do have the radio on all the time, but I think it will be good for me to enjoy the silence.
Is there anything you will refuse to do?
I don't know if I could eat meat. But if I go out for that reason, then so be it. Drinking my wee is fine!
How do you think your day job will help you?
I've done assault courses and abseiled for jobs in the past. I think we're used to looking different so I am not worried about how I look first thing in the morning with no make‐up.
What are you hoping to gain from the experience?
I'm looking forward to learning new skills and challenging myself. I'd like to be rejuvenated, almost - born again, if that doesn't sound too weird.