Stephen Mangan (narrator)


Full Fat Television for Channel 4, 5 July to 2 August 2019 (5 episodes in 1 series)


Teams of twentysomethings are off to the Med! They'll spend the days partying on a lavish cruise liner, and the nights playing physical and mental challenges.

The idea, it says here, is to convince the other people on the ship to vote for them to win the week-long contest. The winners from this holiday cruise are rewarded with another holiday, this time in Bali.

To demonstrate how entertaining they are, our teams will compete in deck games. They'll be whisked off for luxury experiences in port, and have to deal with people they know from real life turning up on board.

There's a party on this boat.

Shipmates had two problems. The first was that the winners would be chosen by the other young people on the party ship. We saw everything but the teams meeting other young people on the party ship. This is a popularity contest, and the one thing we don't see is the teams being popular. When a show steers away from its core proposition, we're going to get confused.

The other problem was a huge delay between recording and transmission. The cruise was recorded in late June 2018, and shown over a year later in July 2019. When made, the producers hoped it would rival the success of ITV2's Survival of the Fittest; by the time it went out, Survival of the Fittest had been forgotten by everyone.

We could make jokes about "holed beneath the water line", and "bilge pumps", but these would be unfair; Shipmates was well filmed, technically excellent, and each episode told its story well. There's just a massive disconnect between each episode and the overall challenge.


Charlotte's Crew


Billed in listings magazines and EPGs as Shipmates O'Mine until the day before the first transmission.

Filmed in June 2018, the show finally tottered out at 11pm on Friday nights during July 2019. The final episode was pushed back to 12 midnight.

Web links

Channel 4 programme page

See also

Weaver's Week review


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