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Wedding Bus

Brides on a Bus

Yorkshire girl Becky Magson is 27 and engaged to Sean Connolly, 33. Recently she was picked out of thousands for a new reality series on satellite channel Wedding TV called Brides on a Bus hosted by TV I’m a Celebrity’s David Van Day.

The show involves 10 brides-to-be leaving their fiancés behind and travelling in a double decker bus from Lands End to Gretna Green, in an attempt to win an all expenses paid wedding at the final destination. Each day the brides are faced with various challenges, with the day’s loser sent home at the next stop and out of the race.

Having fibromyalgia, this proved an extra challenge for Becky. The challenges were tough, the days were long and the fight for a wedding was the ultimate emotional war. She was in it to win it, but unprepared for what she had let herself into………

What made you decide to sign up for the program?

I wanted the wedding! Sean and I have been engaged for over 10 years now so it came at the right time. I also wanted a fun experience doing something I would never normally consider.

What were your thoughts when you first arrived and met the other contestants?

At first I thought ‘what have I let myself in for?!’, then the excitement kicked in. The other girls were really friendly; I felt like I was having a girly trip away! I was a little nervous though as I had not told anyone about having fibromyalgia, as I thought I'd never be chosen to be on the show if I did. I knew there would be challenges but I didn't know what they would involve.

What type of challenges did you have to do?

To my horror, quite a few physical ones! One of the challenges I found particularly demanding was the archery. I'd never done it before but was keen to try it. I was taken aback though at how heavy the bow was and how much strain it put on my arm. I bruised easily despite having two supports on my arm. I found it an effort to hold the bow still and it frustrated me that the task appeared simple until my weaknesses became apparent. I tried to keep it to myself but I was openly upset. The girls were good with me and sympathised, but you can easily feel nobody truly understands when someone doesn't have fibromyalgia.

Other challenges involved rugby, cockroaches, and a few of us even came face to face with some pretty large animals too! I’ve certainly had the interesting time!

How did you cope?

Emotionally, not very well! I didn’t realize I was such a cry-baby. I found the really physical challenges tough. I felt my pain wasn’t understood and a habit I have when I'm in pain is I get upset; I'll cry and I can feel depressed and moody. This comes across quite a bit and shows how tired I had become. A timed cooking task didn't go down well in a restaurant, let's just say I've had enough by that point and the pan gets it!

What was the most difficult part of being on the show?

Many aspects combined made it difficult; the long hours (recording and travelling), the physical tasks and the emotional stress were all completely draining. I admit it all began to take its toll. Five days into filming we had an afternoon off to enjoy our hotel. By this time I was so shattered and down, I spent my time alone in my room sleeping off the effects. I felt guilty about being grumpy with the girls but I get like this when I'm shattered and aching. By the evening I felt a bit better and we enjoyed watching the X-Factor in the lounge of the Hilton!

What was Sean's reaction?

Our fiancés didn’t know what we were doing! Sean was at home waiting to hear if I was coming home or whether I’d won. We had our mobile phones confiscated and had no contact with our partners, family or friends. Sean knew I may find it tough but he encouraged me anyway because he knew I wanted to do it. When it was over, I was ready for home. Sean was so happy to get me back but I was tired, grumpy and depressed which made home-life tough. I felt guilty for it and I still want to say sorry to him.

Do you think the experience has given you more self-confidence?

I definitely have more self-confidence since going on the bus. With having fibromyalgia, it’s easy to be very reliant on others and I long felt incapable and useless. I had to fly down to Lands End to begin the show, something I’d never done before, let alone by myself; I was petrified and hated to say goodbye to Sean. When I finally arrived there I felt very liberated, I’d made it. Doing something so drastic on my own has proved to me I can at least try and do anything I want.

Do you think the experience has helped you to cope with your FM?

It’s not so much helped me cope with the pain, more helped me realize the boundaries I can and can’t push. I’ve learnt to know when to call it a day and accept who I am.

What would you say were the positive or negative outcomes of the experience?

Making new friends is the biggest positive. I made very good friends with Claire P on the show and we’re keeping in contact. The negatives have shown me what I am when I feel at a loss. My personal weakness is I give up too easily when the going gets tough. I wish I were a stronger person.

Would you do it again?!

Brides on a Bus is a once in a lifetime opportunity which was why I went on it. I wouldn’t do this exact show again, but I’d consider another experience, as long as I’m not required to rugby tackle anyone!

Don’t miss Brides on a Bus showing now on Mondays at 10pm (started 15th Feb 2010), exclusively on Wedding TV - Sky 266, Freesat 400.

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