Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
© Dr. Neil Stanley 2013-2024
Shattered I was the scientific advisor to Shattered, I was involved in the set-up of the show and during the broadcast was on- site between 7am -midnight each day. There were other experts involved in the oversight panel, Prof Dr Fred Zijlstra and Prof. Jim Horne who considered the ethics of what we were doing. The programme was made by Endemol and devised by Phil Edgar-Jones, then creative director of Big Brother, so it was clear that it was entertainment and not science although it is the only group sleep deprivation trial that I am aware of. All the contestants had been briefed by myself and others, so they all knew what they were getting into. As soon as any of the contestants exhibited any ‘abnormal behaviour’ we ordered a nap to be taken as soon as practicable, it takes a finite time to convert a studio to a bedroom. The constant refrain within the production team was that we did not want to produce ‘car crash’ TV. It was actually a big surprise to C4 that they had to pay such a large prize because we had had serious discussions about how low the prize pot could go before the contestants lost their motivation and we would have to find ways of increasing the sum. The large prize is testament to the fortitude of the contestants and the care and concern shown to them throughout the show. Although my role was very much behind the scenes of the main programme I did appear on-screen in the E4 show after each episode, you can watch the C4 programme here Ep1, Ep2, Ep3, Ep4, Ep5, Ep6, Ep7 .