The jungle can do funny things to a person: be it contestant or viewer, it changes you. If you're Katie Price you begin to find Peter Andre attractive. If you're Tony Blackburn you become the real life Log Lady.
As a viewer it can force you to develop illicit sympathy for unusual characters. Pity Iain Lee. The erstwhile comedian has barely been in the I'm a Celebrity . . . camp 10 days and already he's unravelling like a babbling Chef from Apocalypse Now. His I'm A Celeb trajectory has had more ups and downs in its short time than a Funderland rollercoaster.
By only his third day he’d morphed into a shell-shocked figure, all wild beard and goggly-eyes constantly blinking back tears. As the week has worn on (yes, just a week) his Bush Telegraph VTs are starting to resemble those desperate televised pleas from petrified humanitarian hostages. Although hardly chained to a radiator, Lee is trapped in a confined place with a trio of cocksure boys that he probably spent every one of his school-days attempting to avoid.
The ultra-masculine environment fostered by Amir Khan, Jamie Lomas and Dennis Wise is no place for sensitive, insecure Lee, bobbling about, whispering his new-age affirmations to himself in an attempt to calm down. Having failed his first trial in the most spectacular fashion by barely even beginning it, Iain was already on the backfoot with the blokes.
Arriving back to camp shaken and crying, his emotional state upsetting even the unsentimental Rebekah Vardy, the lads initially rallied round to comfort the comedian. Although it wasn't long before resentment set in with boxer Khan (who himself has not been the bravest of souls) and ex-footballer Wise grumbling about the tears that were shed and how they'd affect the public vote.
Faced with an opportunity to redeem himself at another trial, Lee instead interprets this as an indication that the public “hate” him and spends most of the day worrying about the perception the other men have of him and how intimidated he feels by their macho presence. Balancing on his heels outside the fireside group, he nervously attempts to chip in with the conversation, as uncomfortable as a stay-at-home Dad at his first cake sale.
Finally with a win under his belt, things looked like they were improving for Lee and his status among the group. So who’d have thought Amir Khan in an over-sized cat costume would become his undoing?
Faced with the opportunity to bring back some strawberries and cream to the rest of the group for winning a mini-challenge, Amir instead raises the idea that Lee and him should polish them off themselves. Like an ITV version of Lord of the Flies the camera zooms in on Lee's eyes popping out of his head as he weighs up failing the group versus upsetting the champion boxer, who is grinning like Sylvester sizing up Tweetie Pie. There is no contest with Khan gobbling half the winning goods before Lee's knitted brows have relaxed.
Wracked with guilt, he later admits their deed but not before Khan cheerily warns him he'll deny everything and leave him to face the consequences. When Khan does confront the group (still in his demonic Hello Kitty costume) the boys squarely lay the blame with Lee, without any rebuttal from the boxer. Just like Celebrity Big Brother and the infamous Oxo Cube spat that sparked a racism row, a simple batch of strawberries and cream could manage to sour group relations and curdle any confidence left in the now fragile comedian.