Celebrity Hunted Series 4 | Interview with Lisa Maffia

Why did you sign up for the show?

Every year I vow to do something big for Stand Up To Cancer. One in two people will get the Big C so we need to know how to fight this thing. My mum has terminal cancer. She was diagnosed in 2013 and she is currently going through her fourth cycle of treatment to fight the cancer around her body. My mum got cervical cancer and over the years it’s spread all over her body. My mum battles on year after year. She’s such a tough cookie. First time round they said she had three months to live. She’s battled on but she’s had to have treatment three more times because it comes back so severe.

I understand you had a cancer scare yourself, can you talk about that?

I’ve had cells burned away off my cervix twice, that was in 2006 and 2008. I tell everyone to go and get it checked. My mum missed a smear and it went on for another five years and she was unfortunate that she had cancer. I always got checked but no NHS doctors would see me during the pandemic, so I decided to go private. It came back inconclusive three times and I was over £2,000 deep in private bills so I went to my local hospital and they said they would test me, and I was in tears. I was so distraught that I went on Instagram and I accidentally said I had cervical cancer, but I was trying to say I was being checked for cervical cancer finally. It blew out of proportion which I felt awful for because so many people do have cancer. The results came back that I didn’t have cancerous cells and I didn’t have to have anything burned away but a couple of months later I had a follow up and I did have cancerous cells that needed burning away. This all happened in the last 12 months. It was a bit of a nightmare. I know how it feels to have those cells burned away and the cramps afterwards. But that smear takes two minutes and determines whether or not you need treatment. I have had my mum go through it and having seen other friends go through it and Jade Goody, it makes you petrified… so doing this show and contributing to the development of cancer research is so important to me.

How many grandchildren have you got?

Just the one, my daughter is 25 and my grandson turns two in October. But it’s why you have to get yourself checked and we have to research cancer so we can be around for our grandchildren. Until my mum got it I didn’t even think about cancer. Don’t wait until it’s you. And it might not be you, it might be a family member.

You’re teaming up with Chizzy, are you good at teamwork

That absolute nutter! I’m very good at teamwork. In So Solid Crew I work with a large group of boys who are very challenging to say the least and they have taught me to have patience, to go for it, to have balls, and they encouraged me throughout my career and that has contributed to me being the best team player because I’ve had to deal with another species as far as I’m concerned. Boys are crazy. So Solid Crew has taught me to be a proper team player.

What do you think you’re going to bring to the challenge and what do you think Chizzy will bring?

I will bring the risk. As much as you shouldn’t take risks, smart risks and wise risks and thought-through risks are what is needed to have the drive to get through this. I imagine after a couple of days the adrenaline goes and you are left with the worry. I think Chizzy will need that, she’s a bit indecisive. I need to feel under pressure. 

Do you have any skills that you can transfer from your day job?

I have multiple day jobs! I have the salon, I have the booking agency, I have the interior design agency so I think the organisation will be what I bring from my regular life into this convict life.

What tactics will you use to evade the Hunters?

I’ll keep moving and not sit still. I am a little bit of a fidget anyway, I’m a natural Gemini that just loves to keep going and keep active, I’m going to be putting on my running shoes for sure.

What do you think of the Hunters?

Hunters are arseholes. They are military-style aggressors. They think they are so smart. I really want to get away and beat them. My mum is a huge fan and for her to watch and see me get away… that encouragement is what she needs at this time. She’ll be going through so many more treatments while I’m away, she needs to see me win.

Is your mum having treatment right now?

Yes, she’s just had her third session and she has 11 to go.

Is it going to be hard to be out of contact?

Yeah. I don’t want to risk contacting her and letting Chizzy down but the closer it gets towards the end; my mum will have almost finished her treatment and that’s when I’ll want to know if she’s OK. Though she has said, ‘do not phone me!’

Have you got a strong network?

I was going to use all of my celeb friends, but I’ve decided against it because I think that’s what they’ll be expecting. I’ve used people that are very close to me and I think that’s the better way. As much as they are close to me, they are busy and active and all over the country.

Do you think being famous will be helpful?

I think it will be helpful when someone is a really big fan of yours, they’re going to be as excited as us but then also if somebody spots you and posts you on social media, well social media is the devil. It’s a walking advert. I’m going to try and stay undercover.

What are your survival skills like?

I’m quite brave, I run off adrenaline most of the time. I put myself in crazy positions and crazy situations so I think being outside will be OK. I’m quite a tomboy still even at the age of 42. That’s how I ended up as the only girl in So Solid. Boys like being outside and I’m one of them.

Are you competitive?

So competitive. The thought of losing makes me sick so I must be.

You have a beauty salon; will this help with your disguises at all?

Yes, I have asked the girls about makeup, wigs, lashes, things I can introduce to my look, so yeah! 

Do you have any hidden skills or talents?

I don’t. I go with whatever I feel on the day. I will do whatever it takes to win this be it accents, acting, whatever.

Have you ever worn a disguise?

Only costumes, but I think that is a disguise. 

What vehicles can you drive?

I’ve driven a quad, a moped, a motorbike a car, I’m sure I can drive a jet ski, a boat, a plane if needed.

Are you good at travelling light?

Yeah, I’m not a girly girl that needs straightening tongs, a make-up bag, the kitchen sink, I’m pretty classic. Light packing is me. I’ve toured for many years and been island hopping and had to pack a small bag to get on and off flights. I’m used to it.

Have you watched the show and learned from other celebrities’ mistakes?

I have watched a marathon of them.

How good are you under pressure?

I am more driven under pressure. Being a musician does that. Under pressure is my best time really.

Can you slum it if you have to?

I can so slum it. I’ve been slumming it for years!

What will you miss?

My daughter, grandson, my freedom! We’ll always be looking over our shoulders.

Can you cope without social media?

I love social media and all of my businesses really need social media to survive but I have an assistant that runs mine when things are going on. I will welcome the break.

Will your family be good at lying for you?

No, I think they are going to break!

What do you think you’ll find the hardest about going off the grid?

The worry about being caught. The further you are from humanity the more isolated you feel, wondering if you’re hidden enough. You haven’t got anyone to tell you if they can see you. One thing me and Chizzy are going to do is laugh a lot and that will help us cope with the pressure and seriousness of them finding us. 


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Dan Dunn
Executive Managing editor

Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

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