I’m A Celebrity is back with a record 12million viewers, a haunted Welsh castle and plenty of tiny irritating critters.
Or Ant and Dec as they’re known.
Relocated to somewhere unimaginably cold, dark and depressing (think 10 Downing Street but slightly less wet) due to coronavirus, the days of Myleene Klass in hot and steamy jungle shower scenes are long gone.
Instead we have Mr Tess Daly Vernon Kay, below, flashing his dad bod and someone called Jordan North demonstrating how everything goes south even though you’re only 30.
Like everyone desperate for something decent to watch on telly during this never-ending lockdown hell, I so wanted the revamped camp location to work.
It doesn’t. It’s like every British camping holiday you’ve ever been on, just with people who get on your nerves even more than your own family.
Damp socks, needing the loo just as you get cosy in your sleeping bag and eating stuff that tastes like a bonfire.
And the cold. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is – when you’re kipping outdoors in the UK, it’s always hypothermia o’clock.
And this is November. In a place that’s more frozen in climate and time than some of the celebs’ once-natural good looks. I mean, what have Shane Richie and Bev Callard done to their faces?
Still at least we know who they actually are. Well, bits of them.
Sir Mo Farah is the big-name signing who obviously misinterpreted the fact that the castle is a ruin as an instruction on what to do to his career.
Surely an amazing athlete like him can’t really need the money?
But even the mighty fall at some point. In Mo’s case it was taking a tumble from his hammock before leading a campfire singalong based around the Mobot.
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At which point you could hear even the castle’s infamous ghosts wanting to kill themselves all over again.
If the Mobot (funny eight years ago) is being dragged out this early on, what the hell is coming next? The other athlete in there – Paralympian Hollie Arnold – revealing that she’s got a gong?
Oops, sorry that was mentioned in the first minute. And the second. And the third… Oh, you get the picture.
Going on your knees before a member of the Royal Family (insert own Prince Andrew joke here) aside, the other red flag from day one was the abseiling task.
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Now this is a perfectly safe pastime that thousands of folk take part in every weekend. It’s particularly foolproof when the equipment has been set up by climbing experts who have passed every elf and safety exam going.
But never have so much OTT histrionics been achieved by so few outside of a Harry and Meghan video message.
One of them – I think it was the Radio 1 DJ lad but could be any of at least six – even threw up at the very thought of it. A sad reminder of the fun the show used to have with vomit fruit Down Under.
Talking of nether regions, the show did perk up slightly when Bev shrieked that she had an Ant in her pants.
Which begged the question: where, exactly, was she keeping Dec?
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