Heartbreak Island hosts Matilda Rice and Mark Dye reveal what really went on behind the scenes

With alcohol fuelled parties and endorsed partner swapping the show has been made to shock. Unsurprisingly, each morning the hosts couldn't wait to find out what had happened the night before.

Getting in front of the camera to host a TV show for the first time would be nerve-wracking for most. But not if you’re Matilda Rice or Mark Dye.

The dynamic duo are fronting TVNZ 2’s new series Heartbreak Island, confessing to Woman’s Day on our sizzling photo shoot in Fiji that rather than feeling tense during filming, they kept getting in trouble for laughing.

“I was worried that he’d be a dick and I’d have to hang out with him every day for six weeks,” Matilda tells us. “But it was so much fun. We ended up joking about the whole time as we weren’t the ones getting eliminated.”

Mark adds, “Yeah, the producers had to tell us to stop laughing and to try to hold the tension so many times, but our hearts weren’t on the line – we weren’t going to lose out on $100,000.”

Heartbreak Island has been made to shock, throwing 16 genetically blessed singles onto an exotic Fijian island to battle it out for a cash prize and, of course, true love.

It might sound simple, but add in alcohol-fuelled parties and a sly loophole allowing contestants to swap partners, and the result is simply “TV gold”, laughs Mark.

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It’s both his and Matilda’s first time as TV hosts – and they landed on their feet.

“Every morning, we were dying to find out what happened the night before,” says Matilda. “We were very invested in the contestants’ lives from day one, really.”

Mark chips in, “We loved, we hated and, actually, our opinions on people changed as the series went on.”

While former Newstalk ZB host Mark, 32, had only been in front of a camera once, as a child on Ready Steady Cook, his co-presenter is no stranger to the small screen.

Matilda, 27, won the first- ever series of The Bachelor NZ in 2015 and the heart of hottie Art Green. Last September, the loved-up pair got engaged in Rarotonga, on what Matilda calls “the perfect day”.

So when we jokingly ask her if you can really find love on a reality show, Matilda immediately starts to squeal, “Yes, you absolutely can!”

She and Art, 29, are now planning their wedding, but the details are a closely guarded secret, with Matilda revealing that they haven’t even told friends how their special day will unfold.

Cheers! Mark and Matilda cool off at the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay during a break in filming.

The star will only let slip, “The planning is going good. It’s interesting as it shows you different parts of a relationship. Art is like, ‘I really don’t care,’ so it looks like I’m doing the whole thing!”

Meanwhile, Mark is unlikely to be bringing a plus-one to the wedding, confessing that he is well and truly single.

“My plan this year was to leave to go travelling, so the last thing I wanted was a relationship. But my plans kind of changed with the Heartbreak Island gig.”

The pair admit that watching the show unfold often gave them flashbacks of their own bad dates.

Mark says, “I dated a girl years ago in Christchurch and she ended up back at my house – not having sex, but because she was so drunk, she was throwing up all over the place. So awkward!”

Matilda recalls, “Mine was in London, with a dentist. He picked me up in his flash car from my shitty flat, then halfway through dinner, he was like, ‘Ready to go? Mine or yours?’ I didn’t even get to finish my food. He was so pissed off that he was spending £200 [$386] on me and I wasn’t going to put out, he said I’d have to catch the Tube home.”

When talk returns to Heartbreak Island, both Mark and Matilda say the contestants will have some explaining to do when the show premieres on June 11.

Mark laughs, “There will be some very interesting conversations with parents. I kept thinking, ‘Your mother is going to watch this!’ But you do forget the cameras are there.”

Matilda admits, “Actually, a lot of them would have gone in thinking that their parents will be watching so they’re going to be careful, but then they had a couple of drinks and were like, ‘Oh, well!’ But that’s what makes it good TV.”

Matilda’s question time

You’re about to be stranded on a desert island, but you can take three luxury items. What do you pack?

A frisbee, moisturiser and a razor to stop myself becoming too overgrown!

Who would you like to be stranded with?

Art and my two cats Brian and Christine, who would absolutely hate it. And maybe Tom Hanks – he has the experience.

How would you pass the time?

Play cards, do yoga and work on my palm tree-climbing skills.

Three favourite songs you would listen to?

Club Tropicana by Wham, Jamming by Bob Marley, and Home by Edward Sharpe because these are all summery jams!

Three food favourites that you would pack?

Lots of packets of chips (who doesn’t love chips in summer), coffee, and almond milk.

Mark’s question time

What luxury items would you take to a desert island?

Sunglasses, my laptop and a speaker. My laptop has my entire world on it, so if I’ve got it, I’m sweet.

Who would you like to be stranded with?

Barack Obama – then I can find out if aliens really exist. Kerre Woodham, who is actually the most fun person ever. Oprah Winfrey – she can spin a story, so endless entertainment there.

How would you pass the time?

Swim, write and sleep. In Sri Lanka last year, I managed three naps in a single morning.

Three favourite songs you would listen to?

M83 – Midnight City – this song reminds me of travelling and being free, where better to listen to it than on an island?

Tame Impala – Solitude is Bliss – again reminds me of travelling, this time the beaches of Colombia

Weezer – Island In The Sun – Coz it just makes sense?

Three food favourites that you would pack?

Fried Chicken, Cheese and Salt. Because they are my favourites. I’m not a full on vegetarian because I can’t give us KFC and I could never be vegan because I love cheese too much. And salt, well that makes everything better, doesn’t it?

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