TV contestants spend year in Scottish wilderness unaware their show had been taken off the air

Participants on the Channel 4 reality series 'Eden' were taking part in a "social experiment", with year-long filming finishing this week

Contestants on the Channel 4 show Eden continued to live in the Scottish wilderness for months despite the show being taken off the air in July 2016.

Eden followed 23 people who were tasked with building a new society from scratch in “a remote Scottish location” – located on the estate of the Ardnamurchan peninsula in the west Highlands – which attempted to show viewers “what they would do differently if they were to start again, drawing attention to some of the facets of 21st century living that we could all do without.”

The show originally set out showcasing the events of each month on the island with every new episode, with the experiment set to last for a year. But, after the opening three months of the campaign aired in July 2016 (covering March, April and May), Channel 4 decided to take it off the air after the show suffered from poor viewing figures, with a drop from 1.7 million to 800,000 viewers recorded.

Despite this development – and the fact that a reported 13 of the 23 contestants dropped out of the show early – those who remained on the island continued to live and commit to living out the Eden idea, presumably believing that their exploits were still being recorded for television. However, the remaining participants – who finished filming this week – were not aware that the show had not been broadcast since August 2016.

Channel 4 have since issued a statement to clarify that the contestants’ remaining time on the island will be condensed into a special that’ll air later this year. “The appeal of Eden is that it was a real experiment and when filming began we had no idea what the results would be and how those taking part would react to being isolated for months in a remote part of the British Isles,” the statement read. “That’s why we did it and the story of their time, including the highs and the lows, will be shown later this year.”

In other Channel 4 news , the broadcaster this week revealed the unlikely hosts of the new edition of The Great British Bake-Off.