Travelling on a bus across Europe with a group of strangers may not be everyone's idea of a relaxing holiday.
But two friends from Bushey enjoyed a “once in a lifetime” experience, when they took part in Channel 4's Coach Trip.
Hannah Clipston and Kate Green, both 28, flew to Italy to join the show on Day 14 of its third series, when it was filmed last September. Their first appearance will be screened next Thursday.
Coach Trip sees seven couples board a coach for a 30-day tour of Europe, under the supervision of guide Brendan Sherrin.
But at the end of each day, contestants get to vote off their least favourite pair.
The couple with the most votes receives a yellow card, and if they get a second yellow card, it is swapped for a red card and they are sent home. A new couple then joins the tour.
After auditioning for the show, a sudden phone call left Hannah and Kate, from Hillside Road, frantically packing for a flight to Italy less than 24 hours later.
Hannah, a care worker, said: “We got a phone call the night before saying we were going tomorrow morning. We had no preparation for it. We packed for a hot holiday. We weren't told where we were going so we just chucked it in a bag.”
Until they appear on screen, Hannah and Kate remain tight-lipped about where they travelled to, and how long they lasted aboard the coach, but they did admit to enjoying the nightlife perhaps more than tour guide Brendan appreciated.
Hannah said: “There was a lot more filming than we thought there would be. We were up at 6am every morning. We used to go out at night as well. We were absolutely shattered.
“Me and Kate love travelling anyway and it was mostly random things they got us to do so it was great fun. It was a once in a lifetime thing.
“Brendan was absolutely lovely. He doesn't put anything on for the cameras. I'm sure we annoyed him with our lateness.”
Kate, a nanny, said: “We had to fit in so much in one day, it was absolutely knackering. We were expecting a holiday and it wasn't. It was fun but very structured.”
Coach Trip is infamous for the simmering tension between couples on the show, and Kate and Hannah's experience was no different.
Hannah said: “It does kick off a bit between people but we got on with most people.”
Kate added: “You're in those people's pockets 24/7. They're all really different types of people. When you're being questioned all day by the production company [about other people], you start to get paranoid.”
Hannah said the pair may be hiding behind cushions when they tune into the show next week.
She said: “We're going to be cringing about how awful we are on it. We don't know how they're going to edit it.”
Watch Hannah and Kate on Coach Trip, weekdays at 5pm on Channel 4 from Thursday, June 11.