German It girl and model Mirja du Mont is famous for not much else but being the third wife of actor Sky du Mont (Eyes Wide Shut). Yet regular appearances on reality TV shows have allowed her to hold onto her B-list celebrity status.
But for a documentary due to be aired Thursday night on ZDF’s neo TV channel, she has finally done something worth talking about – packed up her high-heels and make-up and set off to re-trace the long and dangerous journey typically made by asylum seekers heading for Europe from Africa.
In ZDF’s Auf der Flucht – das Experiment, Mirja du Mont must complete a perilous journey from Germany to Africa via Italy – the reverse of an asylum seeker’s route to the country.
For the show – a mix of documentary and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here… – participants have their phones confiscated and are expected to travel with no money and few rights.
ZDF cast Mirja du Mont for full dramatic effect. Der Spiegel magazine wrote on Thursday that because she “needs publicity” so badly, she would be sure to play the role of “crybaby” to the full.
Starting at a reception centre in Oberursel near Frankfurt, she travels to refugee accommodation in Rome. From there she is given passage on a boat to Tunisia and is then transferred to the island of Lampedusa. She finally reaches a 13,000-strong refugee camp in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
When faced with the asylum seeker slum in Rome, du Mont forces out the tears, said the magazine, blubbering and patting her eyes.
Possibly for the camera’s benefit, du Mont seems by the end of the journey to abandon her original stark views on asylum seekers – strict rules, she said before the journey, were highly necessary “otherwise we’d have them all here”.