Charlie Parsons Interview


When you think of the birth of Survivor you might think of Mark Burnett. But while Mark Burnett was instrumental in bringing the show to American audiences, the actual man who came up with the concept of the show was none other than British TV producer Charlie Parsons. Firstly conceiving the idea back in the late 1980s, Charlie soon found himself pitching the idea around the globe before finally Sweden picked up the idea in 1997 and the birth of reality TV occurred. From then on it’s all fallen into place for Charlie, and in our exclusive chat with the man behind the show you love, you’ll soon find out just where the idea came from and his thoughts on the various global versions and formats over the years.


Charlie is one of the founding members of the company Planet 24, which he helped create with Lor Waheed Alli and the legendary Sir Bob Geldoff. Planet 24 helped spawn numerous hits such as The Big Breakfast and The Word, but perhaps it’s best well known for creating Survivor. Charlie has also had numerous other global business ventures and is a well respected figure in the global business and TV community.

In our exclusive chat with Charlie, he talks about how he came up with the concept for the show, why it was a ‘nightmare’ trying to sell the format to networks, which network in America was keen to produce it but never did, how Sir Bob Geldoff was involved in the show, how long it took to get the show into production, working on the Swedish version, his chance meeting with Mark Burnett and why he never wanted him to be involved in the show, his thoughts on the American version and just how involved he still is with the show, what versions are his favourite, his thoughts on how the show has changed over the years as well as talking up the prospects of another Australian version, why we have never seen an International version with contestants competing from different countries and his thoughts on the the tragic deaths that have occurred on the show.

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