The stellar work of celebrity executive Micky Van Praagh made jungle legends of Harry Redknapp, Emily Atack and Noel Edmonds, with the casting team hoping to recreate the same magic for this year.
Van Praagh is starting to craft the camp, admitting that while she acknowledges the show did well last year, she is hoping for something “completely different” for 2019.
When will the I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! line-up be revealed?
Speaking at the BAFTA Masterclass for I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, she said: “It’s very early days, but we’ve already started casting.
“I think we know what works. I think of our show as a comedy and so I’m looking for people who are funny and high energy as we know those types of things always work.
“But otherwise you want to do something completely different every year. You’re never looking for the next Harry Redknapp or the next John Barrowman or the next Fleur East. You’ve got to do something different.”
While Van Praagh insists she never does the show “by numbers”, it could be argued that there is a formula that the more recent series of I’m a Celeb follows when it comes to casting – a slightly older ‘geezer’ father figure of the camp (Larry Lamb and Harry Redknapp) a young and chipper TV personality (see Scarlett Moffatt and Emily Atack) and, inevitably, a soap star or two (Lucy Pargenter and Rita Simons).
Creative director Richard Cowles said while older reality shows such as Big Brother have deliberately sought to cast fiery personalities in order to stir up fights, I’m a Celebrity’s appeal stems from its warmth; choosing to see how interesting characters respond to the pressures of the harsh environment.
“We have never casted for conflict,” he said. “If arguments go on for too long it can get a bit dull and relentless.
“We will always try and cast for warmth and for people to get on. But we want it to be as stressful as it can be because that’s when you see people’s true colours and how they would react.”
With Harry Redknapp the worthwhile winner for the 2018 series, who is rumoured to be following in his footsteps to be crowned the next King (or Queen) of the Jungle when the show returns in November 2019?
Rumoured I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! contestants
Olivia Attwood (Getty)
Attwood has been rumoured annually since finding fame on Love Island in 2017, but has failed to materialise Down Under.
However, 2019 may finally see the 28-year-old in camp, after she revealed she was “in talks” with show bosses, adding that appearing on spin-0ff show Extra Camp gave her a taste for the show.
“There have been conversations with I’m A Celebrity. It’s ongoing. It would be my dream to do the jungle. I’ve made no qualms about that. It’s such an iconic show,” she told the Daily Star.
“Going out there gave me a taste for it. I got to do a trial, which was amazing. I think if I got to go on the show I would surprise people. I’m more of a tomboy than people think. Just because you look a certain way doesn’t mean you can’t eat a spider.”
The Coronation Street star, who has played Tyrone Dobbs on the soap since 1998, fuelled rumours that he would be appearing in the new series of I’m a Celeb by posting a teasing picture on Instagram.
In the pic, he is donning hiking gear in the wilderness, while the caption reads: “It’s a jungle out there.” The bug emoji really tipped things over the edge.
The X Factor boybander, who won the show as part of Rak-Su in 2017, has been rumoured for the jungle following his messy break-up from Love Island 2017 star Gabby Allen.
“Myles is a free agent now and so he can’t wait to go to Australia and get away,” an insider told The Sun. “It’s a physical and mental challenge and he’s really looking forward to testing himself.”
The former English rugby star is reportedly in “advanced talks” to feature in the 2019 series.
Haskell – who retired in May 2019 after two stints at Wasps and 77 appearances for his country – is son-in-law to TV presenting duo Richard Madeley (he married their daughter Chloe in 2018).
“They have made him a decent offer and are hopeful he will sign up,’ a source told The Sun. However, it is unclear how his recent pivot to the Mixed Martial Arts will affect his ability to participate in the series. In August 2019, he announced that he will be competing in his first bout for Bellator MMA in the USA in the first half of 2020.
We’re not sure if pig penises are in his diet plan…
Paul Hollywood’s ex girlfriend seems keen to swap his baked goods for cheese fruit, maggots and all manner of critters for a stint in the I’m A Celebrity jungle camp after she liked two posts on Instagram calling for her to join this year’s line-up.
A source also claimed to Mail On Sunday that she is planning on using the show as a springboard to secure her own show about horses. “Summer is the person to sign up right now and she is keen to get herself on television,” they said. “Obviously I’m A Celebrity would be her top prize.”
Blue’s Duncan James has reportedly signed a deal to appear on the next series, according to The Sun, who reported the singer and former Hollyoaks actor is picking up a handsome cheque to battle his phobia of snakes head-on.
“Producers think he could be telly gold because he will have to face his phobias head-on,” a source said. “The best campmates are the ones who have to overcome their fears — and Duncan has told them he is game for anything.”