Jordan Wylie is a busy man. On top of being the first man to row the most dangerous shipping strait in the world- between Djibouti and Yemen- he’s also found time to write a book (Running for My Life, out soon) and squeeze in a day job as a hunter on Channel 4’s shows Hunted and Celebrity Hunted. As Celebrity Hunted takes to our screens, we found time to catch up with Jordan and ask him some questions about what his days are like on set.
Becoming a hunter
Working for Hunted has definitely been a whirlwind, but it lets me put the skills I learnt in the military to good use. I spent many years in an armoured close reconnaissance troop and all my operational experience was in an intelligence role: as a result, I got to do lots of training in surveillance, target acquisition and tactical questioning at the defence intelligence centre at a place called Chicksands in Bedfordshire. I also served two tours of Iraq as a Prisoner Handler and Tactical Questioner, which was an incredibly interesting and rewarding responsibility. Essentially my job was to extract information from the bad guys that we could then use to combat terrorist operations in my area of operations.
After I left the military, I also did a BA and then an MA in Security & Risk with Criminology, so this kind of enhanced my CV too. A friend of mine in the security industry asked if I was interested in joining the Hunted cast and I went for a couple of interviews. I had to interrogate the producers a little bit, and next thing you know, I was on Channel 4!
Life on set
Without giving all our trade secrets away, I can certainly say that we work extremely long hours carrying out our investigations and following up lines of enquiries tracking people down! We live in hotels for the whole filming period and we never know which hotel until the last minute, as we are of course running around the UK chasing fugitives. It really does depend where they have headed too (or where ‘we think’ they have anyway…). We also like to get some physical training in too whilst we are on the move and it’s a bit of a lottery with regards to hotel facilities so running and plenty of body weight exercises in our rooms is the usual procedure.
Every day really is different which is what makes it so much fun filming the show. The producers encourage creativity and innovation on a show like Hunted which I feel will really shine through in the new series. We have so many assets at our disposal that we can use such as dog units, helicopters, drones and undercover operatives- and we are always trying to use deception and social engineering to disrupt the fugitives’ networks.
The most rewarding part of the day, though, is most definitely capturing a fugitive! We genuinely work extremely hard and although I’m there more as a bit of an action man that enjoys the ribs, helicopters, climbing, chasing and so on, most of my colleagues are leading experts in their fields and some are still serving in government units. I learnt so much from these people and it’s a real privilege to work alongside the UK’s elite police, military and security services personnel.
At the end of the day, I usually wind down with a G&T (always a Hendricks with Cucumber) with my team- although we do like to order a cheeky bottle champagne if we get a capture that day!
Catch Jordan Wylie on Channel 4’s Celebrity Hunted on Sundays at 9pm, and pre-order his book, Running for My Life, on Amazon now!