Paul Foster pushes past his limits for No Sleep, No Fomo
TV host overcomes sleep deprivation, exhaustion for travel series No Sleep, No Fomo
When you are hosting a reality travelogue with a title like No Sleep, No Fomo, you can expect to be pushed beyond your limits.
Local actor-host Paul Foster is joined in each episode by various Asian celebrities and media influencers, including home-grown actor-singers Benjamin Kheng and Nat Ho, Hana Tam from Hong Kong, Laureen Uy of the Philippines, Taya Rogers from Thailand as well as Korean stars Kim Jong-kook, Alexander Lee Eusebio, Eric Nam and Kevin Woo.
Together, they journey to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and Thailand.
In each country lies 60 challenges to be completed within 60 hours under one condition: No sleep, and hence, no Fomo (fear of missing out).
Filming the show - available online on Viu with new episodes on Fridays at 8pm - was a physically, mentally and emotionally gruelling experience for Foster.
The 38-year-old told The New Paper: "As fun and exciting as all my adventures were, it was exhausting.
"In a sense, I was surprised in the first episode at what my mind and body could achieve if needed to. Staying awake for 60 hours is not easy."
According to Foster, a 60-hour shoot would usually be done across five or six days at 10 or 12 hours a day.
He said: "In this instance, we started and ended within 2½ days, so it was literally non-stop go go go.
"I have been pushed on my previous projects such as Special Delivery, where I hiked in the Himalayan ranges of Ladakh for two days to a peak of 5,000m with a solar panel strapped to my back. But fortunately, I was allowed to sleep and rest during that series.
"With No Sleep, No Fomo, the challenge was really to stay awake and keep the energy flowing to complete missions."
Health was Foster's main concern, so he prepared for the sleepless trials ahead by getting ample rest, hydrating and eating well and packing only the necessities required to survive each 60-hour shoot.
Foster and the guest stars were also monitored at all times, and a medical professional was on hand around the clock.
He admitted that at times, he lost the energy and mood to accomplish the missions - "just exactly as you would if you were tired, grumpy or even sick".
"Other times, you were just groggy and cloudy, but just switched on the autopilot in order to keep operating even if at a low capacity. It was a matter of conserving your energy and using it efficiently when needed.
"I am a professional and at the end of the day, if I don't do my job for the cameras, we don't have a show for the viewers and then everyone's efforts are wasted," he said.
Still, Foster took away the memories of a lifetime - good and bad.
His favourite places were Chiang Mai, where he experienced microlight flying, the beautiful Yi Peng lantern festival and met a rescued elephant at a sanctuary, and Switzerland, because "it was an amazing white winter wonderland" and he spent his birthday on the 3,800m Matterhorn glacier paradise peak at minus 22 deg C.
But perhaps the wildest challenge he had to take on was the sleepover at the haunted hotel in Bali.
"Getting driven up there at 2am in the dark and told to then get out of the car and go find a 'room' was the most 'I'm not sure I want to be here' kind of mission I faced," he said.