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I’m A Celebrity 2023 stars ponder life in the jungle


I’m A Celebrity 2023 stars ponder life in the jungle

Some of the I’m A Celebrity names of 2023 talk about joining the ITV jungle entertainment series…

TV presenter and former politician Nigel Farage hopes to dispel public misconceptions that he is ‘mean spirited’ during his time in the famous ITV1 jungle as he predicts he will be voted for plenty of trials because ‘millions hate him’. Outlining his reasons for finally accepting an offer to take part this year, Nigel explains:

“I want to test myself. Business, politics, media, I’ve done so many different jobs and generally, I have been reasonably successful. But I have never been tested in quite this way. It’s such a mental test and maybe I will discover who I really am.

“I understood why Mat Hancock did it. He went in there with his reputation on the floor. The truth is after the banking issue I raised a few months ago, I was standing up for a million people who had lost their bank [none-basic] accounts, then winning at the TRIC awards [GB News sponsored], I am going in at a different stage of my career.”

Nigel admits he isn’t sure, however, how his fellow campmates are going to react when they first see him.

“What will be interesting is the perception the other campers will have of me. They will go in with their preconceived ideas and it might be a little bit frosty – we will just have to see. I can’t pretend to be anyone other than who I am, I never have. But I survived for 20 years in the European Parliament with all sorts of people trying to trip me up so I am used to that!”

She is swapping her life in Hollywood for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! but American actress Jamie-Lynn Spears reckons her ability to not let anything hurt her feelings will help her cope with the jungle snakes, rats and creepie crawlies as she admits:

“I am absolutely frightened of everything”.

Describing herself as both ‘wildly excited and nervous’ about going on I’m A Celebrity, Jamie-Lynn – who has just taken part in this year’s Dancing with the Stars (America’s version of Strictly Come Dancing) – says it will also be a fantastic opportunity to show the world what she is really like as a person.

“There is literally every misconception you can have on a person about me so I don’t take any of it seriously. But I do think going on I’m A Celebrity will be a nice way for people to see the real me. Dancing with the Stars was such a wonderful experience but this is very different. This is all about personally pushing yourself.”

Made in Chelsea star Sam Thompson readily admits he doesn’t know how he will cope with sleeping outdoors after being forced to quit a recent trial camping trip. The TV and radio star says he decided to go on the trip in preparation ahead of his time in camp but didn’t even last a night because he felt too cold.

“I tried to go camping recently but I had to go home at 10pm, I was too cold! But I am so excited about taking part in I’m A Celebrity, it still feels like a dream. I feel like a competition winner taking part. It was an absolute resounding ‘yes’ when I got approached. In fact, they didn’t even need to ask! I am a huge fan of the show. Ant and Dec are my idols too and it’s going to be really surreal meeting them.”

So how does he think he will fare in the trials? He says he is fully expecting his former co-stars to vote for him to take part in some trials – particularly as he hates anyone or anything touching his neck.

“I think they will all be surprised when they find out I am doing this programme but they will definitely all vote for me to do a trial as they are all going to want to throw me under the bus every single time! I don’t know anyone who likes spiders. The smaller they are, the worse it is and I am a bit of a screecher. I am not a creepy crawly guy either. And I hate people/things touching my neck. Any trial involving things all over me will be pretty rank!”

As well as his family, he is also going to miss his best mate, Pete Wicks. But a digital detox, he declares, will be a blessing.

“To be able to throw the phone away and get in the wild will be so cool, I spend my whole life on my phone and so I am looking forward to getting stuck in.”

This Morning host Josie Gibson has faced scary situations in the past – she worked for the ITV Daytime show during Philip Schofield’s era that has been branded by staff on the show as ‘toxic’. However, despite surviving the Martin Frizzell produced programme (where is the report into the show that was supposed to be released in September BTW?) she admits she is absolutely terrified of coming face-to-face with the jungle’s ‘creepy crawlies’ as she reveals she is still in shock that she’s actually had the courage to take part.

Indeed, so petrified is Josie of insects that she says even talking about them in the run-up to the ITV1 programme is making her scared.

“Now I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is fast approaching, it’s sinking in and I am feeling anxious, I keep thinking, ‘Sh*t, I am actually doing this’. I know I have taken on challenges for This Morning in the past but I don’t know if I’ve taken on too much here. It’s all becoming very real.”

“I am dreading the insects and it’s my biggest phobia. I also don’t like spiders and I freeze normally when I see one. My family thinks I am mad doing the programme too as they know what I’m like with creepy crawlies!”

But gutsy Josie says she loves the show so much that it is the reason why she decided to take the plunge and accept the offer.

“I am most looking forward to being at one with nature. And I hope I learn new things about myself. I hope I can push myself more than I think I can. Eating trials? I have got to try and close my eyes and not think about what it is I am eating. Heights? I don’t like heights either. To be fair, I am not liking a lot of things that the jungle throws at you but I want to give it all a go.”

As for whether she would love to be crowned ‘Queen of the Jungle’, Josie says her main goal is to push herself to try to win as many stars as she can for her campmates.

“If I won it, OMG it would be lovely, I would be very flattered. But I am worried about the trials and I have just got to try and push myself…”

Fred Sirieix reveals he has undergone the biggest fitness training programme he has undertaken in years to cope with life in the jungle, as he admits he is scared of everything. And he explains it was the fact he felt so fearful that spurred him on to accept the offer to take part in the programme which airs in Scotland on STV.

“I knew it was serious when I got the call, I got scared and I don’t like to be limited by fear. But then I thought, ‘Ok this is a challenge’ and I knew I wanted to do it. It’s a challenge to be away from my friends, family, and comfort, only drinking water, no coffee, no wine, no mustard on my steak and – in fact – no steak! I am seeing this as a wellness retreat. It’s an opportunity to get closer to myself inside my head and to see life through a different lens and in a place I feel uncomfortable.”

Asked what his phobias are, Fred readily admits:

“I am scared of everything.”

In fact, so petrified is he that he has even been waking up every night dreaming about the jungle. Are they nice dreams or nightmares?

“It is not like I want to go back to the dream if you see what I mean, it’s definitely sinking in what I am doing this because of the fact I have been waking up every night. It’s all going to be hard, but it’s good to do things that take you out of your comfort zone. I have been training harder than I have trained in the last three or four years. I go to the gym, I go to boxing, I train like a machine – that’s my way to cope with doing I’m A Celebrity. This isn’t a 100m race. You are going in for the long haul.”

Known to millions for her award-winning portrayal of Lola Pearce-Brown in EastEnders, Danielle Harold has come across plenty of soap rats over the past couple of years. But facing up to the real thing on the show will, she admits, be absolutely petrifying.

Confessing she is terrified of rats – especially their teeth – Danielle does, however, reveal taking part in I’m A Celebrity is finally a chance for her to show people who she really is behind her BBC One character. But Danielle, who is single, insists she won’t be looking for love under the jungle stars whilst in camp.

“It’s definitely going to be nice to be myself and just have fun, the parts I have been playing have involved heavy stuff and to just be me is exciting. I am single and no ‘I am not looking for love’! It’s been a crazy, crazy year and so why not top it off with the craziest thing ever by doing this?! It’s definitely a shock to the system and I am both excited and nervous. This is so much tougher than anything or any role I have ever done before as it is all so new.”

“It’s going to be interesting to see how I face up to my fears. I particularly don’t like rats. I have seen rats out in London and I hate them. It’s the thought of their teeth. People say they won’t harm me but I am like, ‘Have they been to the dentist?!’ I am so scared of them. I am not sure, however, how I will be with spiders or heights yet. I am ok when I go on an aeroplane but I have never walked out on anything with nothing underneath before! This is completely out of my comfort zone.”

Danielle has picked up a string of awards this year including ‘Best Serial Drama Performance’ at the NTAs. Would she like another gong to add to her collection?

“That would be so crazy. It would be amazing. It has been the weirdest year of my life but I am really looking forward to this now. It’s going to be so exciting.”

When JLS singer Marvin Humes told his wife, Rochelle, he was planning to take part in I’m A Celebrity, she thought he was playing a prank on her. Readily admitting she thinks he is ‘nuts’ because he is so terrified of heights, Marvin thinks facing up to his big fear will be ‘one million per cent’ harder than performing on stage in front of thousands of fans.

“When I first told Rochelle, she thought I was doing a prank on her, she thought I was nuts and she still can’t believe I’m doing it! This is the most daring thing I have ever done and I have never challenged myself this way before. It’s one million per cent harder than performing on stage and I woke up with knots in my stomach, this morning thinking about it. But this programme has been on my bucket list for years. It’s the first time I’ve been asked to do it so I jumped at the opportunity.”

Marvin, who has just finished a UK tour with JLS, admits his bandmates are going to be shocked when they discover he is taking part – especially as he was the only member of the group not to take part in a skydive.

“It’s been so hard keeping it a secret from them. And when they find out, they are not going to believe it. Ten years ago, we filmed a documentary where we were meant to do a skydive. The morning of the skydive, I pulled out of it as I couldn’t do it. The other three did the skydive so I know they are going to say: ‘Marv how are you going to do this show when you might have to skydive?!’

“Heights do terrify me as do the snakes, the rats and the food situation. We’ve been burning 3000 calories rehearsing for our tour and it’s going to be super challenging. But I am looking forward to chucking myself in at the deep end to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

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