Rolling around in the garden of his Auckland flat for our socially distanced photoshoot, comedian Chris Parker points out the huge clumps of kikuyu grass that are the secret to his Celebrity Treasure Island triumph.
“That final day was a really tough one,” he recalls. “I wasn’t the best. I wasn’t going to win it. I shouldn’t have won. I just knew where to dig for that treasure because I’d spent so much time digging out weeds in my garden.
“I knew kikuyu grass was impossible to dig up and there was no way the treasure chest could be buried under there, so I started exploring where else it could be. It’s all thanks to pulling out these damn weeds!”
But as well as his gardening skills, Chris’ win is a testament to his dogged determination. Asked what the top-rating TVNZ 2 show taught him about himself, the Christchurch-born funnyman, 31, replies, “I wasn’t the smartest or the fittest, but I discovered I’m incredibly good at not giving up. Even if I’m dead last, I’ll keep running. You never know when things could turn around.”
Speaking to Woman’s Day on the eve of his Treasure Island win going to air, Chris is relieved he’s finally able to talk about a secret he’s been keeping for nine long months.
“It’s been agony!” he sighs dramatically. “Because I was gone a long time, lost weight and got a great tan, people figured I’d made it quite far in the competition. It was so boring telling them, ‘You’ll just have to wait and see!’”
Although a few of his nearest and dearest were in on the secret, confesses Chris, who spilled the beans to his flatmate and Treasure Island co-star Brynley Stent, as well as his partner Michael McCabe.
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