TWO friends have taken a trip into reality TV in the new series of a travel show starting tonight.

Tom Laws-Campbell, 24, and James Palbot, 26, from Cowley are starring in the ninth series of Channel 4’s Coach Trip and were the only duo on board who were not a couple.

The pair said the experience had been a unique one.

Mr Laws-Campbell, an events manager, said: “James applied to be on Take Me Out, but because he was the last person to do it he was only a substitute.

“He didn’t get on, but the woman who casts for Take Me Out suggested that we could do Coach Trip instead.”

Coach Trip is a reality game show involving teams of two travelling on a coach tour together across Europe accompanied by guide Brendan Sheerin. Every day the pair with the most votes leave the coach and are replaced by a new pair.

The pair have only known each other two years, said Mr Palbot, but are firm friends.

He said: “We live opposite each other on Hurst Street and Tom knew my younger brother, George.

“George introduced Tom to me and we started to hang out and decided to be best mates – that was it really.”

The Oxford Times:

  • James and Tom with the other travellers

The series takes the pair through Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and along the Mediterranean coast.

Mr Laws-Campbell said: “We set off on October 18 and came back some time around mid-to-early November.

“But for me the intriguing thing was how far reality TV actually is from reality.

“It’s quite stressful sometimes because you film for 14 hours a day – that gets tiring.

“They push you in the right direction. It is a social experiment really. Get people from different backgrounds, put them on a bus together and watch them jump around.

“James and I are quite rare characters to say the least, so us with other interesting people should make some good TV.”

While they didn’t squabble themselves, they did do some scheming against rivals, said Mr Palbot, who also owns a barber shop in Woodstock.

“We got along really well with some people, but others not so much,” he said. “In one vote, we gave our vote to one of the other pairs because the guy had his fly undone.

“We heard them saying bad stuff about us to another couple, so obviously we decided to get rid of them.

“There were times when we didn’t know if we would get voted out or not early on.

“I’m not sure we’d do reality TV again... unless it was about my barber shop!”

  • Coach Trip begins tonight on Channel 4 at 5.30pm.