It’s that time of year again when cash-strapped celebrities descend on Australia to eat kangaroo’s anuses in a bid to boost their profile.
I don’t know about you but no matter how much I needed it, there’s just no way I could ever go on a show like I’m A Celeb. The bugs, the Bushtucker trials, Ant and Dec doing your nut in (although Ant has been replaced by Holly Willoughby this year) – nah, it’s not for me.
But fair play to those that stick it out in the faint hope that their careers will be resurrected once it’s done and dusted.
Ignoring my cynicism, so far, 10 contestants have been announced to this year’s line-up, with ol’ wheeler dealer himself ‘Arry Redknapp making headlines for his whopping £500,000 fee – the highest in the show’s history.
Harry will be joined by a bevvy of C-listers including Doctor Who actor John Barrowman, singer Fleur East and DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles, who I swear has been on it before(?)
Pop star James McVey of The Vamps, former EastEnders star Rita Simons, Coronation Street actress Sair Khan, The Chase’s Anne Hegerty, Inbetweeners actress Emily Atack and Hollyoaks actor Malique Thompson-Dwyer are also in the new series.
I would pay a large sum of money to watch Anne Hegerty do the Celebrity Cyclone challenge (you know, the one where they put a load of Fairy Liquid on a sheet of plastic and throw stuff at them).
Also, they’re really playing fast and loose with the term ‘celebrity’ aren’t they?
However, it hasn’t been five minutes since the line-up was announced and already bookmakers are declaring a favourite.
According to Ladbrokes, John Barrowman is 3/1 to be crowned ‘King of the Jungle’ – making him the favourite despite his inclusion taking everyone by surprise as he wasn’t one of the rumoured participants.
Anne Hegerty remains 6/1 joint second favourite to win along with The Vamps’ James McVey, while Fleur East, Harry Redknapp, Rita Simons and Sair Khan are all next in the betting at 8/1.
Emily Atack and Malique Thompson-Dwyer at 10/1 each, while Nick Knowles is current outsider for the title at 12/1.
“ITV chiefs shocked everyone with the announcement of John Barrowman and punters have piled in on him going all the way Down Under,” said spokesperson Alex Apati.
Barrowman has said of his time in the jungle:
“To be blunt, it will also be nice to have some “me” time! Nobody will be able to get in touch, text or email. ‘I know it’s a game and I am not going in to be a misery. And I would be over the moon if I won. I would be the King or Queen of the Jungle.”
And in other exciting news, Noel Edmonds will be heading to the jungle as a ‘secret’ campmate.
The Deal or No Deal host is famed as much for his controversial beliefs as his string of hit shows.
‘ITV was desperate to get Noel – he’s a huge name to secure and everyone has high hopes he’ll pull in plenty of ratings,’ a source told Mirror Online.
Every year I say I’m not going to watch it and I end up tuning in every night.
I think it’s because I hope there’ll be another Dean Gaffney moment.
I shouldn’t laugh but that really was TV gold.
Images via ITV/Getty