The owners of Blanch House took part in a TV documentary on a desert island in Tanzania - and spoke about their debts of about £1 million.

Chris Edwardes and Amanda Blanch, who run the Blanch House hotel in Atlingworth street, Brighton, took part in the life-changing experience on the BBC’s The Real Swiss Family Robinson after working around the clock for the last nine years to make a success of their business.

Together with their children Jake, 18 and India, 16, the couple headed off for three weeks to an island off Pemba in Tanzania, to spend much needed time as a family and to make some key decisions about what to do with the business.

A spokeswoman for Ricochet, which produced the programme for BBC1, said: “During the programme the family talk about the level of debt being a million pounds.”

As they searched for the secrets to a better life, the family had to face the first few days of island life alone, armed with just three days of basic food supplies and enough tools to build a shelter.

After giving it a go alone the family was then introduced to a local guide, Yussuf Hussein, their very own Man Friday who taught them skills to improve their island life.

The family then returned to surviving alone and settling into a daily routine. They also got the opportunity to meet their local community.

In their final week on the family had to put everything they had learnt into practice and thank their Man Friday and his community with their very own feast.

The spokeswoman added: “It’s a whole new world for the Blanch family as they overcook octopus the boys have spent hours hunting for and then after stumbling knee deep in mud for a crab, struggle to cook that too.

“But once they adapt to their new African environment and get a taste of local life, they come away with very different priorities and a new way to battle their massive debt.”

A month later the TV crews revisited the family to see whether the lessons they had learnt had changed their lives forever.

A spokeswoman at Blanch House said the family had gone away on a three-week holiday to Argentina to avoid seeing the programme being aired on April 17 at 9pm on BBC1.