TWO friends enjoyed an allexpenses- paid trip around Europe – as stars of a reality TV show.

Nick Champness, 25, from Billericay, and his best friend Ben Solomon, who is from Hertfordshire but has family inBasildon, got picked for the latest series of Coach Trip, after impressing Channel 4 producers with their sense of humour.

The hit daytime show brings togetheramixed bag of tourist pairs for a once-in-a-lifetime journey across the Continent.

Nick, of Tye Common Road, and Ben, 30, have been fans of Coach Trip since their days as students at St Mary’s University College, in South West London.

They said a highlight of the experience was meeting lovable tour guide Brendan Sheerin.

Nick said: “He’s like a father figure and without him the wheels would probably fall off. He’s a living legend. It’s an all-expenses-paid trip around Europe and we used to watch the programme as students, so we couldn’t say no.

“I think the producers thought we were good fun and liked the fact we were a couple of young guys. It was an amazing experience.”

The pair have been told to stay tight-lipped about where they ended up, so as not to spoil the surprise.

The show sees contestants take part in a face-to-face vote every evening. The couple with the most votes are given a yellow card and if they are voted for again, they receive a red and are sent home – replaced by a new pair. Nick and Ben were the first replacement pair to join the coach. Viewers will have to tune in to see which countries they got to visit.

Nick admitted: “We didn’t get on with everyone because it’s a mixed bag of people. The voting was definitely the worst part, and I think people will be able to tell when they are watching the show that we found it hard.

“We are not confrontational people at all, so it was a bit of a challenge sometimes. But it wasn’t just a trip around Europe – it was a personal journey for me.”

The latest series of Coach Trip starts on Channel 4 on Monday, January 27.