PREPARE yourselves for another dollop of famous people eating eyeballs in the name of TV - yep, it’s the return of I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! To whet your appetite before the action starts, Keeley Bolger compiles the series’ best ever moments
Another year, another bunch of ‘famous’ people heading into the I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! jungle.
We know the challenges will be gruesome - as well as the eating-bits-of-animals-you’d-really-rather-not. The rice rations will send the contestants bananas and, after a few days, the ramblings of faded stars will be lauded among their celebrity comrades as gospel (only to be ridiculed three days later).
So, with Ant and Dec waiting in the wings and a tough set of challenges in store for this year’s bunch, we look back on the series’ most memorable moments before the ITV show kicks off again.
‘Poo doctor’ of yore Gillian McKeith had a terrible time of it when she entered the camp in 2010. Moments before a bushtucker trial, she fainted live on air and was given an oxygen mask to help her get her puff back, while Linford Christie gallantly took on the bugs in her place. Later, McKeith told viewers she was on the verge of “mental exhaustion” and became the first contestant to refuse a trial, leaving herself and her campmates without food for the night.
John Lydon, lead singer of the Sex Pistols, had plenty of rumbles in the jungle when he appeared in 2004. The punk took umbrage with glamour model Katie Price, who he accused of being lazy, spoiled and a “parasite”. But what really bothered him was the fact she didn’t care what he had to say about her. Lydon walked out after 11 days.
Before I’m A Celeb came along, Peter Andre was just that bloke who stood under a waterfall singing Mysterious Girl. But his fortunes changed after taking a punt in the celeb jungle. There, he penned a new hit, Insania, began a romance with Katie Price and built a new career for himself as the star of several fly-on-the-wall documentaries.
Who’d have thought a simple white bikini could cause such a stir? Well, when Myleene Klass showered in her swimwear in series six, it helped the former Hear’Say singer rejuvenate her career. Later, she auctioned the bikini off for a whopping £7,500 for charity, and has rarely been off our tellies since.
Broadcaster Michael Buerk won us over with his game-for-anything attitude last year. He dressed as a giant, brightly-feathered bird and edged his way along a high line while calling out bird noises, memorably performed a dead pan rap about his campmates, and even did a spot of twerking. Buerk, we salute you.
Poor old Brian Harvey was in a fragile state when he entered the jungle after his grandmother died. Once there, he blew his top when Janet Street Porter complained about him passing wind while she was cooking. Fed up with the food, flies and fights about farting, he eventually quit the show.
Panto star Christopher Biggins provided great entertainment (“Oh yes he did!”) when he appeared on the show in 2007. The series wouldn’t have been anywhere near as fun without his laughter and sparkle - and that moment he roused himself from his slumber and realised he’d been sharing his hammock with a rat.
EastEnders actor Dean Gaffney had a scream of a time when he joined the camp in 2006. The soap star was given a nasty trip to the Bush Spa where a range of critters crawled over his scalp and face and a family of rats crept over his feet. As the intensity of the challenges ramped up, so too did the pitch of Gaffer’s voice, reaching choir boy proportions by the end of his ordeal.
• I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! begins on ITV on Sunday, November 15