The Scottish Mail on Sunday - 2021-11-21




It’s back to North Wales once more. Yes, as I’m A Celebrity… returns, the stars’ destination is, thanks to pandemic travel restrictions again, not Down Under but, for the second year, Gwrych Castle near Abergele. The reputedly haunted house will be home for celebrities all vying to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, CBeebies star Giovanna Fletcher. While the contestants are set to struggle through daunting challenges to earn enough food for everyone, they certainly won’t be short of opinions to share around the fire, looking at the roster of personalities taking part. On a time-out from his presenting duties on Good Morning Britain, Richard Madeley can surely be counted on to come up with his trademark accidental, Alan Partridge-style observations, while choreographer Arlene Phillips has never been afraid of saying exactly what’s on her mind – as Strictly contestants who bore her forthright views when she was a judge will readily testify. Former French football superstar David Ginola will be a welcome presence with his Gallic charm and silver-fox, pin-up looks, but he may also share some philosophical musings after a near-death experience that required emergency heart surgery five years ago. Presenter Louise Minchin will be able to compare notes with Madeley on coping with earlymorning starts and even gloat a little after she stepped down recently from anchoring BBC1’s Breakfast, while former member of The Saturdays Frankie Bridge adds a touch of pop glamour. In her new incarnation as a Loose Women panellist, she can also contribute her own no-holds-barred views. Danny Miller, familiar to Emmerdale fans as Aaron Dingle, the former ‘bad boy’ whose coming out was a groundbreaking storyline, represents the world of soap opera, while EastEnders’ Adam Woodyatt and Coronation Street’s Simon Gregson are rumoured to be joining the show at some stage. From the world of sport come Paralympian gold medallist and Celebrity MasterChef winner Kadeena Cox and Olympic diving champion Matty Lee. There’s also chart-topping music star Naughty Boy – real name Shahid Khan – and Radio 1 Extra DJ Snoochie Shy, who will be hoping to win a new fan following her appearances on Celebrity Gogglebox. Brace yourself, too, for the last-minute twists that the I’m A Celeb… producers always love to spring on us.


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