ONE of only eleven Scottish contestants in Netflix’s new Squid Game reality show has spoken of the “stressful” but “enjoyable” time he had filming the show.

The new series – Squid Game: The Challenge – recreates much of the original hit show, down to the now iconic outfits and sets.

The original South Korean-set show revolved around 456 players as they risked their lives to play a series of deadly children’s games.

It has since become Netflix’s most watched show and the new re-imagining sees contestants eliminated as they pass through the same games the characters did in the show.  

Speaking to The National, Scottish filmmaker and adventurer Beetle Campbell (below) explained how he was scouted for the show and what it was like to take part.

The National:

“They have a bunch of social media scouts and I have around 30,000 Instagram followers with my adventure filmmaking,” he explained.

“I go to some tough regions of the world filming myself or other people on expeditions – one of which was a climb of one of the highest mountains in Nepal.”

There were 300 Americans, 100 people from the UK and 56 others from around the globe taking part in the show. 

Campbell, who grew up just outside Loch Lomond, became Player 439 and was one of just eleven Scots to take part in the competition.

“I guess I ticked that mountain man, adventurer box,” Campbell says, laughing.

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For every player eliminated, $10,000 is added to a $4.56 million (£3.66m) prize pot – which is thought to be the largest prize fund in reality TV history.

Inside the games

Thinking back on his time filming, Campbell admits it was a “bananas” experience playing through the same games as the characters.

“It was an enormous set. It was daft how big they were. In the games, it’ll show only a few minutes on TV but we were in there for eight hours,” he said.

For the first game – Red Light, Green Light – players have to cross a 100 metre stretch without getting caught in the gaze of a giant doll.

He added: “You had to hold your position for 40 minutes rather than a few seconds, there was people with binoculars all around the room and if you moved then black ink would explode and you would be eliminated from the game.

The National: The show has been met with positive reviews. Credit: Netflix

“I’ve never seen something on that scale, it was honestly colossal and that’s coming from a filmmaker.”

Campbell did manage to make it to the second game however – one of only two Scots to do so of the original eleven competing.

He continued: “It was essentially a sort of twisted, human experiment. All of us were competing for this thing we thought was at our fingertips.

“It was crazy stressful, there was mind games, manipulation, constant plotting, people you felt comfortable with and other groups who were more like villains.  

“They took our possessions away when we were in the dormitory. We didn’t have access to daylight or the time so it felt extremely real.

“Everybody after the show was sat down to talk with team psychiatrists and one of my friends I made in there was needing to talk to someone like that because we were the pawns in this chess match.

The National: The contestants in the dormitory. Credit: Netflix

“We’d be spoken to over a speaker so it was stressful, it felt real and they did a great job of ensuring that.

“You sort of forgot you were in a warehouse in London, it really felt like life or death.”


Campbell says he had seen the original show prior to taking part in this and he admits he found it “really weird”.

He adds that although he found the overall experience “enjoyable,” it wasn’t quite what he was expecting.

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“I thought it would be a fun experience. It was enjoyable, I’m not sure fun was the right word. I’m a highly competitive individual and I put weight on my shoulders to perform.

“I thought it would be challenging but it surpassed that. It was a lot more than I think any of us anticipated it being. It felt real.

“You just think it’s TV and fun and hilarious but it was different being in there.”

Squid Game: The Challenge is available to stream on Netflix now.