By Charlotte Nisbet
It’s no surprise that Jill Mellor, 43, is the best at ‘hide and seek‘ after starting her career as a hunter in the hit Channel 4 series, Hunted, last March.
The show involves contestants, known as fugitives, who have to avoid being captured for 25 days in an attempt to win the £100,000 prize money.
And when the mum-of-three, from Leicester, isn’t being a professional hunter, she’s chasing after her two-year-old triplets, Harper, Charlotte and Brodie.
After a 14 year career in the police force, Jill retired after the birth of her triplets but says her key skills from her time as a detective sergeant and from Hunted have enabled her to keep her triplets in check.
She added: “It was easy when the triplets where new-born but now they’re two-year’s-old they cause complete mayhem as they’re constantly on the move.
“Luckily I’m able to chase after them and when we play ‘hide and seek‘ there’s not a chance that I won’t be able to track them down.
“They’re definitely in their ‘terrible two’s’ stage as they’re completely feral and are always up to mischief.
“I was recruited for Hunted after one of the producers spotted my LinkedIn profile.
“It spiralled from there and although it involves a few weeks away from home each year, I love being part of the show.
“It’s like an adult version of hide and seek, it’s so much fun.”
Jill underwent two cycles of IVF and spent £13k before falling pregnant with triplets, Harper, Charlotte and Brodie.
And despite all being born prematurely at 33 weeks in December 2016, they all weighed over 4lbs.
Jill added: “My ex-husband had undergone a vasectomy and despite undergoing the reversal, nothing worked.
“After trying IVF I fell pregnant after our second cycle after being implanted with two embryos.
“It was a complete shock when we were told one of those embryos had split, causing Harper and Charlotte to be identical.
“Charlotte needed six operations after her birth as her bowel and bladder were outside of her body but she’s doing well now and it doesn’t hold her back.
“I’d never had kids before but having triplets seemed easy at first as I got them straight into a great routine.
“It involved three hours feeds and nappy changes 24 hours per day.
“But they’re much harder work now they’re toddlers as not only are they emotional but they are constantly causing chaos.”
Jill is set to feature in her second series of Hunted this summer and will be away from home for seven weeks.
She said: “I only have one day off each week during filming so it’s hard work but I really enjoy it.
“I get to be a detective again and use my key skills from during my police career but without all of the pressure.
“I use my investigative training alongside trackers and surveillance to track down the contestants.
“We all take it very seriously as those being hunted have £100,000 prize money at stake.
“The idea of the show is to avoid being caught by the ‘hunters’ which includes myself for 25 days.”
Jill – who met her new partner, Paul Cashmore, 44, on the show as he’s also a fugitive hunter – says her calm and organised nature helps ensure she keep the triplets in line.
She added: “People often say that I’m a calm mum but after being in the police for so many years it does take a lot to stress me out.
“I’m super organised when it comes to the triplets and I always ensure we are sticking to our routine.
Even though my house is often manic, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
“The triplets eat and sleep well and thanks to my fitness levels being high, I can chase after them.
“And no matter how old they get, they’ll never win in a game of hide and seek with me or Paul.”