71 Degrees North



Gethin Jones and Kate Thornton (2010)

Paddy McGuinness and Charlotte Jackson (2011)


Fever Media/Nordisk Film TV for ITV1, 11 September 2010 to 1 November 2011 (16 episodes in 2 series)


A group of celebrities trek over 2000 miles across Norway into the Arctic Circle area. Their eventual goal is to reach the 71st parallel North which is the top of Norway and, in fact, pretty much the top of Europe too.

Each episode consists of two challenges. In the first challenge, the group splits into two teams, the reds and the blues, with one member of each team being designated the team leader. Once in their teams, they then complete a one or two day challenge. This consists of completing tasks or activities that are typically carried out in the Arctic, such as dog sledding, digging a snow cave, or carrying an injured team member on a stretcher. In cases where the challenges takes place over two days, the celebrities must spend the night in tents. The team who completes the challenge, and crosses the finish line first, or completes the challenge best as determined by an expert are declared the winners and receive a night of luxury in a log cabin. The losing team meanwhile must spend another night under canvas.

The second challenge the celebrities must complete is an immunity challenge. In this challenge, the celebrities compete individually to complete a given task. Tasks in the immunity challenge are typically a little more extreme than those in the team challenge, including activities such as swimming in an icy lake, climbing an ice wall, or tobogganing. The winner of this challenge is the celebrity who swam the furthest, or completed the course quickest, or lasted the longest etc, as determined by the specifics of the challenge. The winner of challenge receives immunity from that week's elimination vote.

Later, at the elimination vote, each celebrity must secretly write down which of their fellow celebrities they would like to see leave the group. Although immune from the vote, the winner of the immunity challenge is still required to cast a vote of their own. Once the group have all voted, they gather with the hosts around the camp fire, and the result of the vote is revealed. The celebrity with the most votes is duly eliminated from the competition, and sent home. Subsequent episodes play out in the same fashion, however the celebrity who won the immunity challenge in the previous episode becomes one of the team leaders in the next episode.

In the final episode, the three celebrities who remain in the competition take part in a challenge which sees one of them eliminated. In the first series this was to swim as far as they could under an ice-covered lake, with the celebrity who swam the shortest distance being eliminated. The last two remaining celebrities then take part in an endurance challenge. This involves a 2km hike across snow fields, with the first to arrive having the choice of spending the night in a tent or a snow cave.

The next morning follows a 20km journey by dog sled, with the time margin the celebrity in the lead had when crossing the line being given to them as a head start for the final part of the challenge. This sees the celebrities run to, and then traverse a valley 100 metres deep, by means of a rope crossing spanning the 35 metres across the valley. Once across, they must then run to a beacon, and set it alight. The lighting of the beacon at 71 Degrees North gives them the overall victory.

The first series never really hit its stride - probably not helped by three of the four female participants being knocked out in the first four shows - but, given that this format's been going since 1999 in its native territory, there was enough production nous around to ensure a passable product made it out the other end.

After two series, the programme was axed in June 2012, reportedly due to the difficulty of finding celebrities of the right calibre to take part.


Based on the Norwegian programme '71 Grader Nord'.


2010 Marcus Patric
2011 Rav Wilding



  • Marcus Patric (ex-Hollyoaks actor)
  • Shane Richie (presenter and ex-EastEnders actor)
  • Joe Absolom (ex-EastEnders actor)
  • Andrew Castle (ex-tennis player and ex-GMTV presenter)
  • Konnie Huq (ex-Blue Peter presenter)
  • Susie Amy (ex-Footballer's Wives actress)
  • Gavin Henson (rugby player)
  • Michelle Mone (businesswoman)
  • Diarmuid Gavin (TV gardener)
  • Lauren Socha (Misfits actress)


  • Martin Kemp (ex-Spandau Ballet musician)
  • Brooke Kinsella (ex-EastEnders actress and anti-knife crime campaigner)
  • Nicky Clarke (hair stylist)
  • Charlie Dimmock (TV gardener)
  • Rav Wilding (TV presenter)
  • Lisa Maxwell (ex-The Bill actress)
  • Sean Maguire (ex-EastEnders actor)
  • Angellica Bell (TV presenter)
  • John Thomson (ex-Cold Feet actor)
  • Amy Williams (Skeleton Olympic gold medallist)
  • John Barnes (ex-Liverpool and England footballer)
  • Richard Arnold (entertainment journalist)

See also

Weaver's Week review


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