Channel 4 bosses say they have received almost 40,000 applications in the space of a day from people who want to take part in a second series of its survival show The Island With Bear Grylls.
The series, in which a group of men go back to nature to cope with the rigours of life as a hunter-gatherer on a desert island, has proved a popular draw with more than three million viewers.
A second series was commissioned last month.
Liam Humphreys, the head of factual entertainment for the channel, said: “The response in less than 24 hours has been incredible.
“The series has clearly tapped into people’s desire to pare back and start again, freed from the trappings of modern life. I’m delighted that so many people have expressed interest in taking part in another ultimate survival challenge.”
Enough water, animals and vegetation were left for the castaways on the uninhabited island to keep them alive, but they needed the ingenuity to find and prepare it.
They had to use their practical skills to survive for 28 days while exhausted, dehydrated and hungry, as a film crew – facing the same conditions – captured footage.
Kelly Webb Lamb, the managing director of production firm Shine TV, said: “We are astonished and delighted in the interest we have had overnight.
“It is unlike anything I have experienced before on any other series and it shows we have tapped into something that has really resonated with the public.”