A damp and dreary season of I’m A Celebrity….Get Me Out Of Here sparked fitfully to life as YouTuber Nella Rose became the second contestant to leave camp. Rose had been a strident presence in the jungle and was involved in two of the year’s major talking points in her disagreements with Fred Sirieix and Nigel Farage.
She had also demonstrated impressive progress, moving from a shrieking mess to someone who could breeze through a disgusting Bushtucker Trial. Big personalities always divide opinion – but the show will be less exciting for her absence.
Her exit interview was a fascinating conclusion to a vaguely watchable instalment. Ant and Dec, temporarily abandoning their atrocious one-liners, zeroed in on the flashpoints from her time under the canopy. For instance, her row with Farage over cultural appropriation.
“Nigel’s an amazing person, until he speaks what he really believes,” she said. “You’re a cool guy – why do you think like that? It’s a really sticky one.”
Rose was one of the few celebs to serve up constant drama. Another is First Dates star Fred Sirieix, whose amiability has withered in the heat since cooking duties passed to Josie Gibson. A chef by training and control freak by disposition, Sirieix struggled to become emotionally detached whenever Josie picks up a frying pan.
“I have stopped advising,” he lamented as Josie’s bean fritters went pear-shaped. Sirieix then volunteered for the day’s trial, where the major stumbling block was Ant and Dec’s banter. Forget scorpions down your back – it was the hosts laughing in his face that wound him up. “You’re very funny – are you taking the p---?” wondered the Frenchman as they milked chuckles from his impending encounter with toads and cockroaches.
Fred looked stressed. Nella, in her exit chinwag, admitted replacing him with Josie “out of pure pettiness”. She shrugged when asked about their early bust-up, in which she had taken offence after Fred said he “was old enough to be her father” (her father having passed away four years previously)
“Things are heightened in the jungle,” she said. “Everything is a big thing. It is what it is.”
She departed via that rope bridge with the sparklers – grateful to have undertaken this journey of self-discovery but glad it was over. As it surveys slumping viewership – launch night ratings were down by two million from 2022 – ITV may be likewise relieved the final curtain looms for I’m A Celeb… 2023.