I’m a celebrity… Get me out of here! put this year’s contestants directly to the test as they battled agonizing heights and frightening creatures.
Sunday night’s launch episode saw a new cast of 10 celebrities step into the Australian jungle for the first time since 2019, while the past two years were filmed at Gwrych Castle in North Wales due Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Among them were pop star Boy George and Love Island star Olivia Attwood, who were revealed as the public’s vote to become jungle VIPs, but it wasn’t as luxurious as it appeared for the first time because they later discovered that it meant “very isolated people”.
Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly also confirmed there would be two more arrivals at the camp and mocked former Health Secretary Matt Hancock who is expected to be one of them.
Donnelly joked that they managed to keep the identities “completely secret”, adding: “You guys are going to be surprised. We’ll be rolling out the welcome mat to them soon”, emphasizing the word “mat” .
To kick off the series in style, Attwood, radio DJ Chris Moyles, Loose Women star Charlene White, comedian Babatunde Aleshe and former England footballer Jill Scott arrived in a luxury car at a waterfront villa on the Gold Coast.
After McPartlin and Donnelly arrived, the duo revealed that Attwood had been voted Jungle VIP and was allowed to choose one person to join her for a meal – she chose Moyles.
The reality TV star said: “I’m both flattered and pissed that the public voted for me to be a VIP…I guess they know more about what that entails than I do.”
The three remaining campmates of Scott, White and Aleshe were flown by helicopter to the Focus Building in Surfers Paradise, Queensland to face off against the show’s new version of the infamous board.
McPartlin explained that competitors should walk to the edge of the board 334 feet in the air and once everyone is in position they should step forward onto a ledge so they lean forward and they must use a rope to prevent them from falling.
They will then have to hold the position for a minute and then let go of their support rope which will send them diving from the ledge in order to each earn a coveted star, each equivalent to a meal.
White was first and walked steadily to the end of the plank and waited for Aleshe to join her who urged herself to “leave”.
However, he became the first to say “I’m a celebrity…Get me out of here!” and retreated.
White was eventually joined by Scott, who later admitted she was “really afraid of heights”, and they completed the 60 seconds before letting go of the rope to complete the task and thus earn two stars for the camp.
Speaking about why he chose to give up his departure and his star, Aleshe said: “I said I was determined to be here. I wasn’t determined to be there (pointing to the plank) .
Elsewhere, after Attwood and Moyles enjoyed their meal, they got a taste of the high life as they were tasked with jumping from a helicopter at 10,000 feet.
After completing the jump first, an emotional Attwood said, “Oh my god I’m crying, this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, ever. It’s incredible. Top 10 experiences of my life. Just amazing.”
Joining her on the beach, Moyles, who doesn’t like heights, added: “I’m so happy to be on the ground. Seriously, I would eat a sheep’s anus any day rather than do it again.
Meanwhile, Boy George, rugby player Mike Tindall, Sue Cleaver from Coronation Street, TV presenter and property expert Scarlette Douglas and Owen Warner from Hollyoaks arrived one by one by boat at a marina.
When McPartlin and Donnelly showed up on the boat, they announced that Boy George was the second Jungle VIP to vote and he picked Douglas to join him for a meal for two on a yacht.
The presenting duo also poked fun at Boy George during the introduction of his arrival, dancing to Do You Really Want To Hurt Me by his band Culture Club, before telling viewers that their answer to the question in the title of the song was “yes”.
The remaining campmates – Tindall, Cleaver and Warner – were airlifted into the jungle and put through their paces on the “Critter Cruise” where they each had to try to secure a star from the mast of a boat by completing a challenge .
Among the obstacles to unlocking the stars were a code that Tindall had to break and a “hell hole” of creatures where Cleaver had to search for fish eyes.
Meanwhile, Owen had to step into a pipe and search through bugs and grime to find hex keys to unlock a grate. This allowed the three stars to bring them back to camp.
The jungle VIPs finally united after Boy George and Douglas had to row out of the yacht on a dinghy to join Attwood and Moyles on an island.
The group then discovered that they were actually “very isolated people” and would spend the night together on the island and tomorrow they would participate in the first trial of the series before they could join their fellow celebrities at camp.
I’m a celebrity… Get me out of here! returns Mondays at 9pm on ITV and ITV Hub.