What’s on Wayne: They’re celebrities? Leave them in there...
- Credit: Archant
I’m not a fan of shows like I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, Big Brother, The X Factor. Not anymore at least. Not even rumours of watching Nicole Kidman or Caitlyn Jenner down witchetty grubs, and worse, could sway me to watch the first.
The tease of who may be entering the jungle is always better than the reveal. Some interesting names cropped up, along with the usual reality show suspects. While not among the 10 announced, it’s possible some of the below may still make an appearance.
Ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne was the bookies’ favourite to be crowned king of the jungle. Oops. Imagine if they dropped Diego Maradona into camp too. Another interesting addition would be Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, who’s marriage breakdown was played out on Twitter. He’s refused to answer questions about his involvement and his anti-Jeremy Corbyn stance would give the show the political edge it’s previously lacked. No, Lembit Opik doesn’t count.
If Hollywood tittle tattle is your thing, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s former nanny Christine Ouzounian could be a great addition. She allegedly had an affair with the actor, which Affleck’s people deny; but imagine the talk around the camp fire. And no, I don’t mean possible Batman Versus Superman spoilers.
I’m all for dropping reality shows into the jungle, period. TOWIE’s Ferne McCann and Jessica Wright were rumoured contenders. The latter was up for it, although she’s apparently “not very good with creepy crawlies or sleeping outside or doing those challenges”. I’d keep that to yourself if I were you… The most surprising rumour was Gemma Collins returning to the jungle after her brief but disastrous stay last year. She wouldn’t be the first returnee, Katie Price appeared twice.
Between the TOWIE lot and TV and radio presenter Denise Van Outen, the I’m A Celebrity patch of jungle could fast become an official Essex suburb. She told the Daily Star she’d love to take part, adding: “I couldn’t do the eating trials but I could do everything else. I’d be fine living in the jungle and I don’t mind all the reptiles and bugs.”
Geordie Shore and Ex on The Beach’s Vicky Pattison was tipped to take part last year, she flew out to Australia during filming but nothing came of it. Made in Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews could be looking to get his reality TV career back on track - The Bachelor anyone - and an ITV source seemed to all but confirm his participation prior to the official line-up being announced.
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I won’t watch anything with Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag – aka Speidi – in it. The former stars of MTV’s The Hills and Celebrity Big Brother appeared on the US version of I’m a Celebrity but were forced to withdraw due to Montag’s medical problems. Speaking to Complex magazine, Pratt teased: “Right now we may be going into another jungle. Those are huge checks in the real world.”
At least he’s honest about his reasons for doing it.
My favourite rumour was that Jenner could be taking part. Previously married to Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner before transitioning from Olympian Bruce, producers would have to break the bank to get her. Less money to spend on sausages this year - don’t tell Antony Worrall Thompson. A show without a Kardashian on it, the times are a changing...
The other was Oscar winner Kidman’s involvement. Unlikely given she’s current appearing in Photograph 51 on London’s West End. The rumour began when she boasted she could have gone on I’m a Celeb and won it: “I’ve even been known to try a witchetty grub... see, I could’ve gone on I’m a Celebrity and won it! I wouldn’t have to be bribed or anything. I’d be happy to eat the witchetty grubs.”
It would make up for her performance in the dreadful Grace of Monaco.
You can tell when actors are quitting this or that soap; they turn up on I’m A Celebrity or on Strictly.
Gemma Oaten recently left Emmerdale but ex-Hollyoaks actress Stephanie Davis - allegedly axed due to being “unfit to work because of alcohol consumption” – would make for better telly. I can’t see it happening though after doctors warned her going ito the jungle with a nut allergy isn’t wise. Um, not the kind of nuts they make them eat doc… Men Behaving Badly star Leslie Ash, who has spent years battling MSSA, a variant of MRSA; and Jake Wood, taking a year-long break from EastEnders, have also been rumoured but I don’t think either would bring anything to the show. Danny Dyer however…
One story I wish was true was former X Factor judge Louis Walsh’s involvement. He reportedly said: “Let’s see what happens. I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no.” Man, it’s the sing-off all over again. Can’t we just take it to the public vote already? The other is professional grump Karl Pilkington, a man who takes his own crisps and biscuits on holiday. Apparently there’s a Facebook campaign trying to get him into the jungle.
X Factor champion James Arthur, who I spoke to when he performed at the Ipswich Regent a while back, was another contender. Given how he told me he struggles in the spotlight I’d worry about him in the jungle. I’m surprised Union J’s George Shelley – who doesn’t look old enough to go anywhere without his mum – was picked over band-mate Josh Cuthbert. Where’s the Jake Quickenden man-meat this year?
Popstars The Rivals’ The Cheeky Girls - aka Romanian-born twins Gabriela and Monica – could’ve be fun or incredibly annoying; probably both. Gaby - who previously dated ex-MP and former I’m a Celebrity contestant Opik - told one newspaper: “If Lembit can do it, so can I. And I can do better.” Glad to see the split was amicable...
Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus revealed she turned down a big money offer to appear, questioning why she would open herself up to ridicule.
She told newspapers: “Myleene Klass under the waterfall in a bikini? I would have a black bag over me while I was showering. Anybody who wanted to see me in the jungle in a pair of shorts and T-shirt for three weeks would have to be mad.”
Speaking of blasts from the past, ex-TV chef Rustie Lee was reportedly taking part last year but had a late change of heart. A chef would come in handy in camp. Former Pussycat Doll and Got to Dance judge Kimberly Wyatt took part in The Jump and just won Celebrity MasterChef so if Lee’s a no-show there’s still hope. Her band-mate Ashley Roberts was the 2012 runner-up so knows what she’s letting herself in for. She’s pretty flexible too, which could come in handy during challenges. What? It’s a valuable skill...
Not so handy would be Anne Robinson. She’s revealed ITV bosses have made repeated offers to get her into the jungle. I bet every Weakest Link contestant she’s ever dismissed is waiting to punch her bush tucker telephone number into their speed dial if she does turn up.
Ex-Olympian Iwan Thomas was rumoured to have cha-cha-charmed producers after tango-ing out of this year’s Strictly early. A fan of the show, he’s told interviewers he’s petrified of spiders and scared of rats - are you writing this down producers - but would throw himself into challenges. A bit like you did in your cha cha cha darling.
There is one plus this year, former Blues star Kieron Dyer is donating his fee for I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here to the Ipswich-based Jude Brady Foundation which helps children across Suffolk for a range of different illnesses, but also aims to highlight the issues surrounding neonatal deaths.
Dyer, who has been a patron of the charity for a number of years, said he was not doing the show for any sort of recognition – but that his children had begged him to take part
“I am very competitive. But I am not going on the show for money. My fee is going to a charity. I am doing this show for the charity and my children. I see the show can revitalise people’s careers, but if someone in the camp wants to further their career in the media I would rather they win than me. Obviously if I did win, I’d be over the moon, but it’s not the be all and end all.”
His donation represents a big boost for the cause, which currently turns around between £30,000 and £40,000 a year, which it puts back into helping children and has previously helped children secure prosthetic limbs and facilitate a specialist ward for St Elizabeth Hospice for paraplegic and quadriplegic children.