GOING on the run from a team of experienced hunters with no money or phone is one of the toughest challenges on telly.

The Channel 4 series Hunted pushes even the fittest and toughest of competitors to their very limits – so one 78-year-old from Swindon decided that he wanted to give it a go.

Mervyn Little, originally from Gorse Hill, survived for four days by using his 24 years of military intelligence expertise and with the help of strangers who offered him lifts, shelter, food and money.

But one of the people he asked for support later tipped off the team of trackers on his trail and provided key information that led to his capture, five minutes into the second episode.

Mervyn told the Adver he was grateful for his time on the show and thoroughly enjoyed his time on the run.

He said: “I really enjoyed it, it was everything I hoped it would be and would do it again in a heartbeat. Though I’d be more careful about who I ask for help because I would have lasted a lot longer if I hadn’t been given up, but that’s life.

“The hunters initially said I was “low-hanging fruit” but I knew they would soon peg that I was ex-military. They under-estimated me at first and I underestimated them, I should have given it a lot more thought than I did.

“I’d seen the other episodes and thought it looked like good fun because opportunities to do anything challenging are few and far between when you’re my age. Part of the hope was to inspire other people my age. I wanted to prove that I wasn’t dead from the neck up.”

Mervyn’s father did an apprenticeship at Great Western Railway, which required that he spend six months working elsewhere before returning to GWR.

The family moved to Portsmouth and decided to stay there, though Mervyn returned to Swindon occasionally to visit grandparents. Mervyn, aka ‘Titch’, now lives in Lancashire with his wife Patricia.

He added: “What really surprised me was the amount of support I got from complete strangers – they were extraordinary.

“One gentleman originally suggested I sleep in a net, had second thoughts after realising I was as old as his grandfather, then gave me a tent, which was very kind.

“I never managed to get to my own network of contacts but my army years gave me confidence in my own ability be on my own for a long time, it was not very strenuous.

“I asked a hotel manager if I could sleep in the garden and he said yes. You can only tell people you’re on Hunted after they agree to help. When he heard that, he gave me an ensuite room! ”