What happened to the Brit who got the 'best job in the world'?


What happened to the Brit who got the 'best job in the world'?Getty

It was hailed as the 'best job in the world' and Brit Ben Southall was the lucky devil who snagged it.

But was a £70,000 six-month stint as 'caretaker' of the stunning Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef all it cracked up to be?

Well, apart from losing his girlfriend at the time, Breanna Watkins, and being stung by a deadly jellyfish, yes, it appears it was.

Although Ben, who beat 35,000 other applicants to the job, admits it was harder work than he thought it was going to be.

He told the BBC: "At the time I saw the advert, I thought it would be like living on a desert island like Tom Hanks in Castaway.

"It became bigger the further it went on. It was after I won when I did a ten-minute slot on the Oprah Winfrey show which was broadcast in 140 countries that I thought, 'This is pretty big now'."

What happened to the Brit who got the 'best job in the world'?Ben with his ex-girlfriend, Breanna Watkins. Photo: Getty

He says that his strong work ethic and the long hours made jet-skiing, diving and blogging about five-star hotels harder than he'd imagined. Poor lamb.

But, Ben did such a good job his title has been upped to 'tourism ambassador' and he now promotes not just the island, but the whole of Queensland.

He said: "It means I'm travelling more around the state of Queensland, into the outback, the rainforest and down to the Gold Coast.

"I'm a roving reporter, I produce and shoot video content and run a blog."

Not only that, he met his future wife-to-be, Sophie McPhee, at a tourist event 18 months ago, and they plan to marry on Hamilton Island.

The pair currently live in Brisbane, and call Australia home.

"Looking back on the past three years, I didn't expect to stay out here. I've always travelled and had wanderlust. This is the longest time I've stayed in one place.

"Four years ago, I was travelling around Africa in a Land Rover. Now I live in Brisbane which is a city, not a very big city but I'd never done city living before."

He added: "The job has allowed me to have adventures and keep exploring, write about it and learn new skills like filming, editing, presenting, public speaking and TV work," he said.

"They're great things to have done and if it wasn't for the competition I don't think I'd have done them."

Read more at the BBC

Sign up to our weekly newsletter
| Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook