‘The Traitors contestants weren’t just my friends – they were my ears’

For Charlie, The Traitors could often be a lonely experience due to her hearing loss (Picture: PA)

In The Traitors, casting suspicions on fellow teammates can be tense and emotional, but some elements of the murder mystery game were more difficult for Charlie Bees than most of the contestants in season 2 of the UK series.

The Round Table is one of the most stressful moments ever seen on television, but for Charlie, the biggest chaos involved walkie-talkies and several random bird noises.

‘Not only that, but when we were in the castle trying to find the bird sounds, once you played one, they would go on for about three minutes, so then you play another one, and it was, was loads of bird sounds,’ Charlie says of the second episode, which saw the Faithfuls in the Scottish castle try to find bird sounds corresponding to those mimicked by other contestants over a walkie-talkie in a challenge to boost the prize fund.

‘So I got it over the walkie-talkie, through second-hand people, and then going into a room trying to find the bird sounds, with already 50,000 bird sounds howling in my ears, it was madness! It was absolute madness,’ she laughs.

And while the Round Table was brilliant for having everyone sat clearly around a circular table, Charlie tells Metro.co.uk that she had to negotiate when it came to discussing their theories at breakfast.

‘There were a couple of times where I was round the breakfast table, which was usually where the juicy information was coming out, and arguments were happening or disagreements,’ she explains.

The circular layout of the Round Table worked well for Charlie (Picture: BBC/Studio Lambert/Llara Plaza)

‘I had to lean quite heavily on the people that I was next to. So straight from the off, all of the people that took part in the show, knew that I was quite hard of hearing, and that I was struggling in situations where lots was going on – the breakfast table being one of them.’

‘So a couple of times,’ Charlie continues, ‘people who were next to me, I would say, “What did they say?” They would always tell me word-for-word what they said, which was what I started to explain to them and say, “If you do repeat what was said, try not to say your interpretation, but actually word-for-word.

‘And I think that’s the key, especially in a game like The Traitors, because it’s like Chinese Whispers. You get what people interpret that sentence to be, rather than the word-for-word, and that was something I had to continue to have that conversation with people, because I’m like, “Did they really say that word-for-word?”’

Yet despite these challenges, Charlie is quick to praise the ‘really enabling and supportive’ production team working on the show.

‘They would always put me at the front in any kind of debriefs or any kind of information that we needed to have. There were lots of things going on in the background,’ she reveals.

‘Mr Studio Lambert – who I call Mr Studio Lambert, he was one of the top bosses – would always get people to make sure that they stopped what they were doing so I could hear it clearly.

‘I had people holding my hearing aids and we’d have a nice little tub, so if we were ever in the water – because I can hear without hearing aids, it just makes it a little bit harder – so they would follow me around with my own little tub to put my hearing aids in.’

In terms of her fellow contestants, she says: ‘I didn’t think I would really bond with the people that I did, but from a hearing perspective, as well, these people are more than my friends, they’re my ears.’

Charlie was lean on other contestants she sat next to at the breakfast table(Picture: BBC)

As Charlie reflects on her time on the show – cut short by Traitors Harry and Andrew ‘murdering’ her during last Friday’s episode – the mental health area manager shares she’s learned it’s ok to ‘stand up for yourself and do it in a diplomatic and friendly way’, explaining that this extends to advocating for access as a hard of hearing person.

‘I think being able to ask for help actually really helped,’ she says, ‘because I think in day-to-day life, sometimes it’s easier when you ask, “Can you repeat that, please? Can you repeat that?”

‘You only kind of have a rule of thumb that you do that twice, on the third time you just let it slide. I think that actually helped me not to do that, to actually go, “do you know what, I know I’ve asked you twice, but can we just go through that again, or can you say in a different way?” I got that from the show.

‘I wouldn’t have done that before, I just would have given up. It’s almost like, “Oh, it doesn’t really matter anyway”, but it does matter. It does matter that I’m involved.’

And there was no finer example of that than in episode five when, while shouting ‘this is for Bristol’, Charlie launched a catapult which added £10,000 to the team’s prize fund – something she describes as being her ‘proudest moment’.

It can be quite lonely, having hearing loss

‘I was very aware that I was almost, at times, not contributing as much as other people were and that it was quite isolating at times,’ she admits. ‘It can be quite lonely, having hearing loss. Not everybody understands you, or you don’t understand them, or you might say a silly sentence and respond to someone’s question that’s completely irrelevant to what the question was.

‘So it was, as time goes on, I’m away from everybody that I love, everybody that I care about. I’m in this environment where, by nature, people are going to be stabbing people in each other’s backs, so it did start coming back to me a little bit, I think, as time went on.

‘The mission – not only for me but for everybody – you can see that everybody was united in that challenge. Oh my god, I thought it was the best experience of my life, hands down! Little old me, to have a moment like that, was just amazing.’

Charlie’s revelations come after a spectacular Traitors final, which saw Traitor Harry steal over £95,000.

Did you correctly predict the winner of The Traitors?Comment Now

Viewers were on the edge of their seats for 70 minutes, as Faithful Evie was banished before recruited Traitor Andrew was ousted.

When down to just three, things really got heated, with Faithful Jaz unable to shake off his theories about Harry.

Alas, he couldn’t convince Mollie to banish him, who maintained throughout that he was trustworthy, leading to her being heartbroken when he walked away with the cash from under her nose.

The Traitors is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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