I’m a Celebrity is back this weekend and another flock of celebs will be put through their paces on the show to be crowned a king or a queen of the jungle (or castle).
The show will return to ITV this Sunday (November 21), and will be based at Gwrych Castle in North Wales for the second year in a row due to the Covid pandemic.
The highlight for viewers as always will be seeing some of the most famous faces of our screens undertake gruelling trials and fun challenges to win food, often facing their fears along the way.
Ahead of the new series the line-up has been officially been announced and each campmate has spoken a little about their reasons for taking on the challenge, reports The Mirror.
Read all about this year’s contestants here:
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Broadcaster and journalist Louise Minchin, who left BBC Breakfast earlier this year, is hoping that viewers will get to see her “fun side” whilst she’s in the castle this autumn.
Having always dreamt of taking part, she also hopes that her former colleague and friend, Dan Walker – who is currently on Strictly Come Dancing – will vote for her to do lots of trials.
She won’t be as keen to take on those in confined spaces though, which is described as her “biggest challenge.” She said: “I can’t get in a lift with too many people in and I would rather walk up the stairs than get in the lift.”
The 53-year-old has said: “Going on I’m a Celebrity is a big adventure. It is very different to sitting on the BBC Breakfast sofa and it will be scary and daunting but it will also be lots of fun.” Louise said she’s “really excited” that the show has returned to Wales.
Speaking of friend and former colleague Dan, she said: “I didn’t tell [him] I was doing [the show] before coming to Wales but I don’t think he will be surprised! He knows me well and I think he will be both excited and nervous for me.”
Louise said not knowing what’s going on in the world will be “extraordinary.” She said: “Not having access to the phone […] is a difficult thing to let go of but I am also actually looking forward to it.”
Olympic athlete Matty Lee said it’s the “cherry on the cake” to be taking part in his favourite TV series after winning gold with Tom Daley in the 10 metre synchronised diving in July.
The 23-year-old said his diving partner “was in shock” when he signed up, with Matty adding: “He is so excited for me and he has always been so supportive. He gives me advice about anything whether it is relationships or whatever.”
Matty hopes viewers will get to know him over the course of the series, commenting: “Everyone knows who Tom Daley is but people don’t necessarily know who I am.” He added: “This will be a nice opportunity to let people get to know me better.”
And although it will be very different to the recent Olympics in Tokyo, it’s not necessarily easier. “I trained for [that] and knew what to expect,” he said. “I haven’t eaten animal do da before and so it is going to be tough.”
Discussing another challenge, he said: “I think I will definitely freak out at rats and I know I will scream. Heights won’t be an issue though! I am obviously used to diving off 10 metre boards!”
BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Snoochie Shy could be in for a fright at Gwrych Castle as she’s admitted to being a “scaredy cat.”
She said: “Bugs and I are not friends, I don’t like heights and I am claustrophobic too. But that all said, one of the things I am most looking forward to about doing this programme is the Trials! They are all crazy.”
The 29-year-old, who wants to teach her fellow campmates how to twerk, hopes viewers will get to see a different side to her. She said: “People know me as a very bubbly person but when I am outside of my comfort zone, I can be shy.”
Snoochie isn’t sure how she will cope going au naturel during the show though, as it will mean her birthmark on her cheek will be visible to the public for the first time.
She said: “I am a little bit nervous about it. People other than my family don’t know I have a birthmark on the right side of my cheek and so it will be the first time I am letting people know I have one. It has been an insecurity of mine in the past but I am also excited to face up to it.”
TV presenter Richard Madeley finally accepted the offer to appear on the show after years of being asked – and he’s actually hoping to get voted to do trials, unless it’s to do with heights.
The 65-year-old said he’s agreed to take part this year as he’s realised the show is “no longer just a TV programme” and is instead part of “the fabric” of life in the UK. He said: “I suddenly wondered what it would be like to be there rather than watching.”
After consulting with his wife and former presenting partner, Judy Finnigan, he realised there wasn’t a reason for him not to do it. He added: “My children think it is hilarious I am taking part!”
Having spent time on his grandparents’ farm in Shropshire, Richard said he’s used to animals, including rats, but admitted that he doesn’t like heights. He’s concerned about how he’ll have to enter the castle, adding: “Maybe I will have to walk a plank over a 150 foot open space. I am not looking forward to that at all.”
And he hopes to follow in the footsteps of Victoria Derbyshire, who managed to get her fellow campmates to open up about their lives last year. He said: “I will ask questions in camp. Unless you are curious, you don’t learn about people.”
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Dame Arlene Phillips, DBE
Dame Arlene Phillips, who turned 78 this year, is the show’s oldest ever contestant but that won’t stop the former Strictly judge from taking on the trials.
Discussing her fears, she said: “Spiders, all those things you find on I’m a Celebrity – I don’t like them but I have this great fantasy that I can put myself in a place that will deal with it all.”
The choreographer said she “can’t believe” she’s taking part, though she’s spoken to a number of past contestants. “Everyone has loved the experience and told me how it has added something new to their lives and that is why I have said yes this year,” she said.
She hopes to be able to show her “motherly side,” adding: “I don’t think people know me and the real me is very different – I am very caring and I love that caring side of my life.”
And viewers may get to see her organise a dance competition, with Arlene teasing: “It’s not going to be about technique. It will be about the joy of movement and hopefully someone in the camp can sing.”
Music producer Naughty Boy has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Beyonce and Sam Smith, but now he has an opportunity to introduce himself.
The 36-year-old, whose real name is Shahid Khan, said: “I want people to know the real me. I am not a celebrity at all. My music is the celebrity and now is the chance for me to show people what I am really like.”
Naughty Boy has spoken openly in the past about caring for his mum, who suffers from dementia, and he hopes to raise awareness about the illness whilst on the show. It will be a challenge not living with his mum though, with the producer adding: “It is going to be difficult for me being away. But that said, I think the break will be good for both of us.”
The music producer has said he isn’t good in confined spaces and is scared of heights. He added: “But I am looking forward to taking part in the trials only because if we get the stars, it is good for everyone. I am looking forward to doing something heroic for everyone in the camp.”
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Kadeena Cox, MBE
Four time Paralympic gold champion Kadeena Cox has said the ITV reality series will be “completely out of [her] comfort zone” – but she’s ready for the challenge.
She expects that the experience will be “far harder mentally” than her athletic achievements, admitting that she’s scared of spiders, rats, snakes and heights. “I am hoping the athlete in me will want to do it for the team and just get through that tough moment,” she said.
The 30-year-old commented: “My mum thinks I am crazy to be doing it too and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I am also really looking forward to meeting some new people from different walks of life.”
Kadeena – who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2014 – hopes to show “people with all disabilities they can try different things in life.”
The athlete is putting her training for her next international competition on hold to take part, but has said it’s worth it. She said: “It will be good to push your body in a different way. “It will also be good to be out of that head space of constantly trying to get that one per cent extra gain.”
Football legend David Ginola is hoping the show will be a “great experience” and a chance to spend three weeks in a castle “doing things you have never done in your life.”
It will see the former Newcastle United player reunited with Ant and Dec, who are long-time fans of the football club, and he’s curious to see how he’ll be outside of his comfort zone.
The castle itself won’t be a problem though, as he said: “Because we have been in lockdown many times over the past two years, being locked in a castle […] won’t be an issue for me.”
The 54-year-old, who retired from playing in 2002, doesn’t expect his campmates to be particularly interest in hearing about his professional career – having played for teams including Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Everton. He joked: “I will tell them stories of my life and they will fall asleep! I will be the ghost of the castle!”
David, now a pundit, is looking forward to the experience though. He said: “Doing I’m A Celebrity has come at the perfect time for me and I am really looking forward to it all now. It’s also going to be a crazy experience!”
Loose Women panelist Frankie Bridge is determined to conquer her fears on I’m a Celebrity, vowing: “I’m scared of most things, but I want to push myself and show a side people have not seen before.”
The 32-year-old, who is a member of girl group the Saturdays, is scared of rats and is a “fussy eater,” describing the eating challenge as her “idea of hell.” She added: “I also hate spiders in my own home [and] being trapped in small spaces is a big thing for me.”
Frankie said her husband Wayne Bridge has been encouraging her to take part since he was a campmate in 2016. She said: “He has been desperate for me to do it too and he can’t wait to watch me squirm and scream.”
A little nervous to leave behind her two children, she said: “Being in the same country also makes me feel so much better. I think being on the other side of the world and having no contact would maybe be a step too far.”
The former S Club Juniors member said she is willing to give “everything a go” and hopes to make to the final, simply so she can take part in the infamous cyclone trial.
Emmerdale star Danny Miller has said he agonised over whether to sign up this year as it means leaving behind his fiancée and their new baby, who was born last month.
The 30-year-old said he had a “long discussion” with his partner before agreeing, adding that it’s “a great opportunity”
He said: “I want to show people what I am like as Danny rather than as Aaron. It will be nice for people to see me not crying but having a laugh! I am a fun guy at home and I’ve been known as Aaron now for 13 years – it’s good to step outside your comfort zone.”
As well as his fiancée, Danny also confided in best friend Adam Thomas, who came third on the ITV reality series in 2016. “I feel like I am a step ahead as I’ve asked him questions about what it will be like,” he said. Danny said such conversations have helped “settle” his nerves.
Discussing the challenges, he said: “I am sh*t scared of the eating trials!” The actor said he can’t even brush his teeth without feeling sick and is “dreading it if [his] gagging reflexes start.” He’s determined to at least give them a go though.
I’m a Celebrity returns on Sunday (November 21) at 9pm.
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