The much anticipated new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! begins tonight at 9pm on ITV, and in a new twist for this year’s series, the celebrities have been split into two groups before even entering the jungle.
Arriving in a glamorous speedboat first at the luxury Queensland villa was Michael Buerk who as a BBC correspondent has covered wars, floods and famine. “I’d probably describe myself as self-important and pompous so getting out of my comfort zone and pricking my pomposity might be very good for me.
“I don’t like the celebrity culture, so having been very dismissive of it, I now find myself categorised as a celebrity which is very, very uncomfortable,” he said.
He was joined by rap artist Tinchy Stryder who advised that the best way to approach the jungle experience ahead was to expect the unexpected, he then taught Michael his rapper handshake.
The men were then joined by one of Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriends, playmate and US reality star Kendra Wilkinson. Talking just before she went into the villa, Kendra warned anyone thinking that just because she has a sweet laugh, she’ll be a pushover.
“First impressions they will have of me is that I’m a nice sweet playboy girl but you know what, I spit, burp and fart and I don’t care what you think of me. You will think I’m cute because of my laugh but I will bite your head off if you xxxx with me.”
She assumed Michael was a comedian until he explained himself and after finishing her cocktail told her new friends that she enjoyed shots and would show the Buerk how to twerk.
“We should do some shots and get this party going, let’s twerk or something, pick up your pants Michael to loosen them.”
She then showed Michael how to twerk. “Oh right, it’s a bit similar to bellydancing,” said Michael.
Kendra replied: “Yes, but with your a***!”
Michael, completely non-plussed, looked the other way and casually brushed a fly from his arm and said: “Maybe when I know you all better”.
Kendra continued to encourage him but Melanie said: “Don’t make him twerk, bless him.”
Jimmy Bullard and Melanie Sykes completed the group and discussed how very nervous they were of what lies ahead.
Over at the New South Wales villa, the other group were arriving by a hot red Ferrari and first to enter was Red Dwarf and Coronation Street actor Craig Charles.
He said: “I wouldn’t want to be in the jungle with me, I’d find myself really annoying and want to beat my head in! I’m sure the jungle will be like Glastonbury without the music and better loos!
“I’m quite nervous and I’d hate to let my family down… What have I let myself in for?”
Actress Vicki Michelle said she was doing the show for the older women.
“I’m there for the older woman, we’re still good and we can still do it darlings!”
For Carl Fogarty, his worst nightmare was boredom and being with other people.
“Just being with other so-called celebrities is going to be a really hard challenge for me. I don’t really like other people and the worst kind of celebrity for me is someone who hasn’t really done anything, just famous for being in the reality TV shows.”
The next two arrivals were reality TV show celebrities Gemma Collins and Nadia Forde.
Said Gemma: “I’m just Gemma from Romford. I am a drama queen, drama just follows me. I hope there is no-one grumpy in there and we have to be quiet in the mornings because from the moment my eyes open, there will be a showdown!”
Irish model Nadia confessed she is terrified of everything she is about to head into. “I’m scared of rats, snakes, spiders, heights, deep water, confined spaces, I’m making myself out to be such a wimp!”
For the first time in the history of the show, viewers have been voting to give one group the chance to have a final night of luxury, while the other group is thrown straight into the celebrity slammer – a jungle jail.
Self-confessed drama queen Gemma failed in her first challenge when she freaked out while sat in the helicopter awaiting take-off. Even before boarding the chopper she said: “People are going to see the real stripped back real me, I might just become Bear Grylls, you never know, it’s so scary and now I am really questioning why I did this, I feel sick with nerves, physically sick.”
As the chopper began accelerating, Gemma became a nervous wreck, crying and waving her arms around and then pleaded to get out.
With mascara streaking down her face, she said: “Can you stop a minute please, I’m serious just stop, I need to get out, seriously I’m going to be sick, I can’t do it, no way.”
Once out of the helicopter, Gemma explained: “I got into the chopper and suddenly felt very scared but thought I can’t show anyone I’m scared, but I cried like a baby and I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this jungle lark.”
To find out which group has been voted into the celebrity slammer, and to see how they are faring, tune into I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Tonight at 9pm on ITV. Turn over to ITV2 at 10.40pm for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here Now! for all the gossip on the show. Celebrity guests are Eamonn Holmes and Ashley Roberts