Survivor Outland location : Butlins holiday camp, Bognor Regis
Butlins holiday camps are a British institution. They are as much a part of the British way of life as football hooliganism, warm beer, innings defeats, mad cow disease and political sex scandals.
The first Butlins camp was opened in the period immediately after World War Two, when Sir Billy Butlin realised that there were millions of people who really needed a holiday, but there was nowhere for them to go. Having taken part in the liberation of Belsen, Sir Billy had the idea of applying the concentration camp concept to the summer holiday market, and so Butlins Holiday Camps were born.
Butlins was a huge success. Millions of British working class holidaymakers streamed into the camps, and not knowing any better most of them really enjoyed themselves. Many former SS members, desperate to take some form of revenge on the Tommies, swapped their SS uniforms for Redcoat blazers, and forced the poor Brits to have fun or else.
Conditions were unbelievably harsh : campers were woken at the crack of dawn by Butlins Radio blaring out annoying messages at 120 decibels; they were forced at gunpoint to enter the knobbly knee competitions, donkey derby and talent quest. The curfew was rigourously enforced, and the machinegunners on the watchtowers had orders to shoot to kill. And the food served up in the dining hall was truly appalling.
In other words, Butlins took all that was best about the British way of life, and condensed it into one glorious holiday package.
By the late 1970s, however, the appeal of Butlins was in decline. Instead of a cheap fortnight with appalling food and ruthless German guards, the British holidaymaker discovered the Mediterranean package holiday, which offered a cheap fortnight with appalling food, ruthless German tourists and an almost fatal sunburn. Butlins, being confined to British locations, could not compete with the added attraction of sunshine. In fact most people at Butlins had rarely, if ever, seen the sun. If the sun came out on a Butlins holiday the campers were inclined to ask what that big yellow thing in the sky was.
So one by one the camps began to close. Fortunately for lovers of British culture and heritage, some of the camps are managing to stay in business, mainly by offering Shagfest Breaks for teenagers during the offseason.
Survivor : Outland was originally intended to take place in the hills of Afghanistan, but the outbreak of war whilst the survivors were actually en route to the location necessitated what was quite literally a last-minute change. The only thing we could book at such short notice was a couple of chalets at Butlins in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, on the South Coast of England. The producers of Survivor Outland would like to thank the management and staff of Butlins at Bognor Regis for all the help they have provided in the making of this series, especially Sadie the secretary with the huge funbags, who helped most of us enormously. We had a wonderful time making this series at Butlins, and we believe the camp staff enjoyed it too - the camp Assistant Kommandant Standartenfuhrer Kessler was overheard remarking how refreshing it was to have camp inmates who made the selections themselves. To show our gratitude to Butlins we will ensure that they receive the same benefits as our other sponsors, ie an obscene amount of product placement on-screen during the series.