I’m A Celebrity: Hang Me Upside Down

THERE were a few surprises when the I’m A Celebrity “reveal” release arrived in my in-box yesterday afternoon.
Embargoed until one minute after midnight today, it confirmed the names of the ten celebs in the starting line-up.
You can read the online version of this morning’s MEN story here.
Short audio interviews with eight of the celebs are also available at the bottom of this blog.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was Martina Navratilova.
There had been speculation that the tennis legend might be going in to the jungle.
But I couldn’t quite believe it.
I’d guess that she’s receiving one of the bigger pay cheques for taking part.
Not that she needs the money.

You probably won’t be surprise to learn that Martina has never seen I’m A Celebrity.
And how many celebs have said before going in to the jungle: “I will miss reading the New York Times.”

Does the former Queen of Centre Court really want to be Queen of the Jungle?
The other surprise was Star Trek and Heroes star George Takei.
Otherwise known as helmsman Mr Sulu and Hiro Nakamura’s father in Heroes.
Businessman Kaito Nakamura is currently dead.
So does this jungle adventure mean he’s one of the few Heroes characters who won’t be coming back from the dead?
Of course not.
We all know that I’m A Celebrity takes place in the future…well, in a time zone several hours ahead of us.
While the past, present and various parallel versions of the future are just part of the scheme of things in Heroes.
And, guess what?
George is another one who has never seen I’m A Celeb.
Other names, like Esther Rantzen, Robert Kilroy-Silk, Simon Webbe, Dani Behr, Joe Swash and Brian Paddick, had been trailed in advance.

I’d even read a piece last week about “model and personal fitness trainer” Carly Zucker.
Otherwise currently labelled “Joe Cole’s fiance”.
She’s responsible for my favourite quote so far.
How do you prepare for the jungle trials ahead?
“I’ve been hanging upside down.”
But “glamour model” Nicola McLean defeated me.
It turns out she’s engaged to Peterborough FC footballer Tom Williams.
Which makes her a lower division WAG.
Nicola is promising to be “this year’s Janice Dickinson”.
Let’s hope not.
It’s all complete trivia and nonsense.
And, yes, I’ll be glued.
*I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! returns to ITV1 at 9pm on Sunday.
These are the current William Hill odds at the time of writing.
While I’m tempted to back either Esther, Martina or George, I think you’d be mad to plunge in until we see how the celebs actually shape up in camp.

Joe Swash: 7/2; Simon Webbe: 4/1; Martina Navratilova: 7/1; George Takei: 7/1; Esther Rantzen: 8/1; Carly Zucker: 8/1; Dani Behr: 12/1; Brian Paddick: 12/1; Robert Kilroy-Silk: 14/1; Nicola McLean: 14/1.
Audio Files:
Martina Navratilova
George Takei
Simon Webbe
Esther Rantzen
Joe Swash
Carly Zucker
Brian Paddick
Nicola McLean
Get Set For Jungle Fever
I’m A Celebrity Official Site