Having spoke to all the I’m A Celebrity contestants just hours before they began entering the jungle this weekend, I can definitely say they are a varied group.
And the potential is there for lots of good gossip as they seem to be a talkative bunch.
Yvette Fielding, ex-Blue Peter and now Most Haunted host, didn’t want to stop chatting before she went in. She wants other celebrities to rub her feet and is super excited about the adventure ahead.
After the success of Jimmy Bullard ITV bosses have got Kieron Dyer, a more thoughtful footballer, but also one who was more talented on the pitch and has friends who are England international he may reveal secrets about. I expect him to start quietly but come out of his shell if he stays a long way into the competition.
Duncan Bannatyne was calm and relaxed but we all know he has a bit of a temper which could go off, especially if the conversation is a bit trashy. Tony Hadley is someone bosses have wanted for years, and boxer Chris Eubank is, well, Chris Eubank. The man never utters a sentence where three can be used, so we won’t be short on words from him.
For younger viewers Hollyoaks’ Jorgie Porter, Union J’s George Shelley and X Factor’s Brian Friedman seem to cover lots of angles across TV and music. None of them were shy in my time with them and bosses have chosen that trio hoping they will spill secrets from their industry and because frankly, they all look good on screen.
The one name many won’t recognise when they turn on their TV is Lady Colin Campbell. But she is a royal author who broke secrets about Princess Diana. And as we have seen with the likes of Paul Burrell and Jennie Bond, a royal connection is normally a good thing for I’m A Celebrity.
If you listen to Lady Colin, Buckingham Palace will be tuning in alongside the rest of us.
It certainly feels a stronger camp than last year overall and my feelings are echoed by show boss Tom Gould. The exec producer says: “I’m really, really excited. In terms of the combination of characters, I simply have no idea what it’s going to be like this year – and I can’t wait to find out. I love the idea of Chris Eubank and Lady Colin meeting. There are so many interesting combinations.”
Let’s hope he is right and ITV have got the right mix for some joyful jungle viewing.
Mark is showbiz editor at the Daily Mirror. He is flew out to cover I’m A Celebrity with British Airways, which offers flights and holidays to Australia. www.ba.com/australia