Celebrity Hunted new chief Ben Owen: ‘Stanley Johnson dyes his hair… but still looks like Boris!’
Eight famous fugitives, including Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley, are on the run in Celebrity Hunted for Stand Up to Cancer, which begins this Sunday on C4
Ex-military man Ben Owen has been promoted for the new series of Celebrity Hunted! The former Hunted Deputy Chief is now chief of operations since Peter Bleksley recently stepped down from the role.
Ben’s first mission as head of the Hunted team is to capture eight celebrities all determined to stay off the radar for 14 days. Unfortunately for the famous runaways Ben and his elite team of professional hunters are equally resolute about capturing them!
"We’re 100% committed to this process and treat it for real. We do this in our professional lives, so if we don’t catch anyone it makes us look really stupid," says Ben.
"We monitor celebrities’ close associates – mum, dad, sister, friends – covertly putting GPS trackers on their vehicles. We monitor their phones to see who’s calling who. Live cameras and CCTV across the UK are really helpful too."
Pairs of stars on the run for Stand Up To Cancer this year are Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley, 79, and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! co-star Georgia 'Toff' Toffolo, 24; TOWIE’s Lucy Mecklenburgh, 28, and Lydia Bright, 28; former professional rugby players Gavin Henson, 37, and Martin Offiah, 52; and celebrity chefs Jean-Christophe Novelli, 58, and Aldo Zilli, 63.
Ben adds: "Celebrity Hunted is slightly different to the main series because they’re recognisable. Social media is massively to our advantage here. We put out mugshots to the public… If it’s a likable person the phone won’t stop and 99% of the information will be rubbish. But if people don’t like a celebrity they’ll dob them in to us!"
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In the first of five episodes, this Sunday the fugitives are electronically tagged and flown to a location in London with £150 cash in their pockets. And just like the Hunters they have a few tricks up their sleeves to remain at large!
"Stanley dyes his hair in an effort to go incognito, but still looks like Boris from a mile off," reveals Ben. "Chefs Jean-Christophe and Aldo go to Pride in London dressed in drag.
"In Celebrity Hunted money’s not really an issue. There are lots of flamboyant modes of transport. Aldo and Jean-Christophe use an associate’s multi-million pound private jet. Lucy and Lydia stay on high-end yachts and quaff champagne.
"While Stanley and Toff shrewdly use an amphibious vehicle. But moving every day means tiredness and paranoia kicks in, giving us a chance to catch up…"
For more information or to donate visit channel4.com/su2c
The new five-part series of Celebrity Hunted for Stand Up to Cancer begins on C4 this Sunday at 9pm.
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With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and (opens in new tab)www.whattowatch.com (opens in new tab) covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.
As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast.
After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.