And we’re off. Another batch of fresh-faced (for now) famous faces have entered the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here castle hoping to prove to the public – and themselves – they’ve got what it takes to survive without the trappings of celebrity life.
Throwing them straight in at the deep end, Ant and Dec split the 10 campmates into two teams in last night’s opening episode. They took on a series of stomach-churning and terrifying trials, hoping to secure their place in the more comfortable main camp in Gwyrch Castle.
The losers would be banished to the “clink” – a barren camp with no beds where they would have to cope with rations of rice and beans.
Danny Williams, Dame Arlene Phillips, Naughty Boy, Richard Madeley and David Ginola were the unlucky team, while Frankie Bridge, Louise Minchin, Kadeena Cox, Matty Lee and Snoochie Shy enjoyed the relative comfort of the castle.
Now follow three weeks of trials, cold nights and rice and beans for this year’s campmates. Will they be able to hack it?
Here’s how I – a self-declared I’m A Celeb obsessive – think they’ll fare based on just one day in the castle:
Most likely to: Be a dark horse
When it came to the first trial – a terrifying walk along a plank suspended hundreds of feet in the air – the former BBC Breakfast presenter was raring to go. She eventually won the round against Danny Miller, proving she’s got the skill and the mettle to face anything the castle throws at her.
Most likely to: Become the nation’s heartthrob
The UK already loves Matty’s “work husband”, Tom Daley, so it’s only a matter of time before we fall for his diving partner. The 23-year-old comes across as lovely and placid and he’ll go far in the competition. Maybe he’ll even learn the plurals of more creepy creatures over the next three weeks.
Most likely to: Lift camp spirits
While her fellow celebrities walked the plank over a deathly drop, BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Snoochie was shouting encouragement and telling them to imagine they were partying in Ibiza instead. If I were locked in a freezing castle with very little food and not much to do, I’d want Snoochie around as entertainment – surely she’ll be the one to initiate this year’s dance routine.
Most likely to: Annoy his fellow campmates
Richard isn’t exactly afraid to share his opinions and towards the end of last night’s episode he was already asking his campmates to put logs on the fire every time they got up to go to the toilet in the night. While someone has to take charge and make sure the camp runs smoothly, his orders are sure to get on someone’s nerves once they’re tired and hungry.
Dame Arlene Phillips
Most likely to: Prove age is just a number
Viewers on social media were shocked to find out the former Strictly Come Dancing judge is 78 years old, and while some were shocked ITV were forcing her to sleep on the floor and take cold showers, she shouldered the castle clink better than some of her younger peers. Dame Arlene is going to be a force to be reckoned with this series.
Most likely to: Break the rules… again
Usually it takes a while for the celebrities to start bending the rules, but not music producer Naughty Boy, who got in trouble on his very first night in the castle. In an effort to lift the bland rice and beans, he had smuggled in some spices in his sock but had them confiscated when he asked producers if he could use them. I imagine this won’t be the last instance of Naughty Boy living up to his name.
Most likely to: Be the camp cook
Paralympian Kadeena has said she didn’t want to put herself forward as camp cook, but last night’s opening episode saw her frying up some rabbit for her campmates. She would be a wise choice – she was crowned the winner of this year’s Celebrity MasterChef so has already proven she has the skills. The other celebrities will hope she manages to stay in the castle for the long run.
Most likely to: Be Ant and Dec’s favourite
If there’s one thing I’m A Celeb hosts Ant and Dec love it’s Newcastle United. French footballing legend David played for the club from 1995 to 1997 and so already has a place in the Geordie duo’s hearts, and they’ll be hoping to spend as much time with him as possible. Lucky for them, David has already said he’s up for taking on the trials and will eat “any anus” (his words).
Most likely to: Make it to the final
Arriving late to the castle alongside Richard Madeley, Frankie proved she’s determined to succeed when she beat the GMB presenter in a race to the top of a tower full of creepy crawlies. She’s currently the bookies favourite to win the whole series and she has a slight advantage over the other celebrities – her husband, former footballer Wayne Bridge, competed in the series in 2016, so he has likely shared some invaluable advice.
Most likely to: Do all the trials
There’s always one. Emmerdale actor Danny made the mistake of admitting that he’s scared of most things and that he’s “always gipping” (northern slang for throwing up), so naturally the public have identified him as the unfortunate candidate to take on all the trials. He’s already been chosen to take on the next challenge, in which he’ll have to eat increasingly disgusting food. Should go well.
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