Curse of ‘I’m a Celebrity’ strikes again

This year’s victim of a series of unfortunate events is YouTube sensation Jack Maynard

Jack Maynard:  was whisked away due to some misguided unsavoury tweets he sent in 2011 and 2013

Jack Maynard: was whisked away due to some misguided unsavoury tweets he sent in 2011 and 2013

 

There are some events that are inevitable in every series of I’m a Celebrity. As with the Curse of Strictly or the Racists of Big Brother, you can depend on familiar bingo moments within the show.

The tabloids will run a front-page picture of one of the younger women of the jungle giving their best bikinis an airing under the makeshift waterfall (Cheers Myleene Klass!) A celebrity who is very eager to win over the public will be forced to leave due to unforeseen circumstances; whether Craig Charles with his brother’s death or Spencer Matthews with his unfortunate steroid addiction.

This year victim of an unfortunate series of events is YouTube sensation Jack Maynard. Just as he was explaining to fellow contestant Stanley Johnson – that’s Borris’s dad – what a vlogger was, with his eyes glazed over thinking of the “absolute jokes relatable content” he could create with dear old Stanley, he was whisked away due to some misguided unsavoury tweets he sent in 2011 and 2013. Like most of his contemporaries, Maynard was an immature Lynx-soaked spod back then, and hopefully has matured enough to realise his idiocy.

Maynard doesn’t really need the jungle anyway, his millions of online followers don’t care about some washed up soap star using a badger’s baculum as a toothpick – they just want the hypnotic mundane, to peer at what some random YouTuber has bought in Boots.

Maynard hasn’t exactly been replaced, but former Scottish Labour party leader Kezia Dugdale and forgettable comedian Iain Lee have been choppered in, obviously to secure those youthful viewers.

Northern charm

Both should have been jettisoned for the reality telly gold that is Charlotte Dawson. Forget Gemma Collins, she had her chance at jungle life and failed miserably, Dawson is the real tonic required.

Why the irrepressible daughter of comedian Les has not been selected for the reality show this year is mystifying. If anything, I’m A Celeb is crying out for her imitable Northern charm, her constant use of the word “chuffing”, the way she manages to intimidate everyone with her nuclear level joie de vivre.

They are missing a trick not having her lowered from above in one of the dinner baskets clad in a PVC playsuit clutching a bottle of prosecco in one hand, a kebab in another and shouting ‘Y’ALLRIGHTBABES?’ at a terrified Amir Khan.

Charlotte Dawson: manages to intimidate everyone with her nuclear level joie de vivre
Charlotte Dawson: manages to intimidate everyone with her nuclear level joie de vivre

Amir is terrified of almost everything it would seem, apart from getting punched in the face repeatedly. A man of few words, with a flair for the obvious, he falls under the most common I’m A Celeb truth: there will always be one celebrity who has no idea what the show actually entails.

Whether it’s Sinitta convincing herself that everyone stays in a hotel and is secretly fed pizza if they’re hungry or with Dollar’s David van Day assuming they filmed it all on a soundstage, there will invariably be someone whose agent was slightly sketchy on the eyeball-eating details.

Khan’s first task was to find out exactly what a “critter” was, then confront a whole mess of them blindly jamming his fist into various leafy openings until he reached his true nemesis – the snake.

Throw in the towel

In a moment of unintentional comedy, instead of bypassing the reptile he managed to pull it out of the pit entirely – its darting tongue ending up rasping right into the boxer’s face. It was enough to have Ant and Dec dissolve into their helpless school-boy giggles and saw Khan throw in the towel.

One person who was unhappy with the champ being knocked out so quickly was his task-partner Made in Chelsea’s Georgia Toffolo, who looks nailed on as the show’s actual MVP.

She may be a buffont-topped young posho having a “jolly good” laugh twirling around to Whigfield, but Toff is proving to be the Bushtucker Terminator, taking on every task with a steely stiff upper lip.

“Oh Amir, are you okay, darling?” she tinkled upon hearing the hard man’s yelps as she was being buried under a barrage of bugs. Not one for quitting, her disappointment at failing the task due to Amir’s early exit was palpable but no one else seemed to care.

Georgia Toffolo: exudes the good humour and determined spirit of a summer camp compadre
Georgia Toffolo: exudes the good humour and determined spirit of a summer camp compadre

The moment after their ordeal could have been a picture-book definition of the patriarchy in action as the three boys stood around waffling to each other about Amir’s “trauma”, ignoring poor squealing Toff reeling in abject horror, shaking out her hair, which had become a wig made from cockroaches.

Joy to watch

Whether flirting with a confused Stanley, accidentally covering herself in “dunny juice” or chomping on a mummified moth, Toff exudes the good humour and determined spirit of a summer camp compadre. Warm, fun and sweetly modest in the face of her co-stars’ rampant egos, she’s an unfiltered joy to watch.

‘‘I don’t know why I’m here,” she shyly admitted in a camp-side conversation, while Rebekah Vardy, wife of soccer player Jamie, attempted to convince herself and the viewing public that her celebrity status was due to her charity work. She may not realise it but this charming Chelsea girl could be swinging through to snatch the Queen of the Jungle crown.

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