ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If a group of contestants live in the remote wilderness for a year for a reality TV Show that (without their realizing) was only partially broadcast, did it even happen? These are the kinds of questions that both humanity and the contestants of Channel 4's Eden have to endure day in, day out.

After signing up to be part of a reality TV show which saw them living in an isolated community in the Scottish wilderness, the contestants of the ill-fated Eden have now returned to civilization - only to realize no one knew they had even gone. After 12 months of toiling away in seclusion and dining on chicken feed grit, only 4 hours of their ordeal was ever broadcast.

The Eden Contestants Re-Emerged To A Very Different World

Returning to a world in which Donald Trump is President, the UK is no longer part of the EU and 16 songs in the UK's top 20 are all Ed Sheeran tracks, you could forgive the Eden contestants for wanting to run, screaming, straight back to the wilderness. Were they the lynchpin holding all reason, logic and decency in the world together? Judging by what happened since they defaulted from society, it's very possible.

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They Stopped Being Brodcast, But Were Never Informed

A year ago in March 2016, filming for Eden began. This saw 23 contestants being led into a sealed-off area deep in the Scottish Highlands and left to their own devices. From here they had to look after their livestock, grow crops and learn how to function as a group including all manner of deliciously awkward and volatile social conflicts.

However, after viewing numbers dropped from 1.7 million to 800,000 during the first 4 Episodes, the TV execs at Channel 4 decided to stop airing the Show and failed to inform their contestants that no one was actually watching them anymore.

'Don't Talk While I'm Having This Word' - Eden Was No Garden Of Paradise

Like all reality TV Shows, the contestants of Eden were carefully selected so as to create just the right amount of drama, sexual politics and outright bitching that are necessary to creating a watchable TV Show.

Moments like the above in which Eden contestant Anton, a 41-year-old rowing coach, confronts the group after being ostracized for taking himself, and some supplies, off into the woods prove to be wonderfully painful to watch however, the plight of this group of assorted nomads was not simply not enough to keep viewers engaged.

Contestants Began Dropping Out Like Flies In A Rain Of Insecticide

After claiming that she was being bullied in the wilderness by some of the males who were calling her "lazy," Tara Zieleman left the Show — and she was just the tip of the iceberg. By the end of the year, 13 contestants out of the original 23 were said to have dropped out. This included 25 year-old outdoor instructor Tom Wah who later went on to say on Twitter:

"I left because it wasn't what I was told it was going to be, what you see on TV is all bulls*it.......You're not seeing the whole picture, the program is extremely misleading."

After Eating Chicken Feed Grit, Those Who Remained Made Emergency Trips To The Dentist

Even more disturbing were the reports of neighboring locals who told The Telegraph that contestants were spotted in nearby Fort William getting emergency dental treatment after eating a diet of chicken feed grit. As one local resident, Maria Macpherson told The Telegraph:

"It [Eden] has not done this area any favors – it has just not lived up to expectations"


Would you rather eat chicken feed grit or leave a reality TV show that no one was watching?


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