With the last disgusting bush-tucker trial over for the year, and with the jungle crown now firmly on the head of former Westlife star Kian Egan, it's time to take stock of this year's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!.
Evaluate what went wrong. Lessons that have been learned.
So here are the top 10 tips you need to be a winner on I'm A Celebrity.... And that's not necessarily becoming the Jungle Queen or King. Even if you don't make the semis, you can still be a big, big winner.
Just look at Joey Essex - one-time star of The Only Way Is Essex. The PR pundits reckon his three weeks in the jungle should be worth at least a million.
For the show is not really about "celebrities" in the jungle. Most of the stars on I'm A Celebrity... are in fact has-beens or people who have had a very (very) light dusting of fame.
Nail it right, and they can re-invent themselves, become a genuine celebrity and garner the goodies and the adverts and the promo-deals that come with all that.
And get it wrong... and they will be destined just to slide back into the dismal life of the D-lister celebrity, vaguely recognisable but never ushered into the red-roped VIP section.
Here we go. (In no particular order.)
1. You've got to have a weakness. It doesn't matter whether you're phobic about spiders or the dark, or whether you're terrified of eating an ostrich's anus - you've got to be frightened of something. It's no good just going into the jungle saying you're Superman, got the whole damn thing covered. Viewers like vulnerability. And what they particularly like is seeing stars then overcome their phobias. So even if you're Mr Teflon, you've got to go in saying you're nervous of one thing. This way you'll be on a journey. The jungle will be making you stronger. This makes for good telly.
2. Bitching does not work. Moaning about the other contestants is very unsavoury. Doesn't matter how much of a bastard the other celebrity has been, you do not moan about them. Not to their face. And - especially - not behind their backs. We, the viewers, can see perfectly well that somebody may be repellent. But that doesn't mean we want to see you bitching about them. You are supposed to be superhuman. You must rise above it.
3. Tackle everything with perky good cheer. Particularly when things go belly up. So if somebody's lost a ton of food: we smile and we console them. If we've slipped and covered ourselves with muck: we roar with laughter. If a rat has bitten us on the cheek, and it's gone septic, then we dismiss it as a "mere scratch". We do not like whiners. We want our heroes, like the fashion designer David Emanuel, to have a touch of the Dunkirk spirit. Doesn't matter how bad things get, they've always got a smile and a quip.
4. We are always the first shoulder to cry on. When everyone else is wailing and blubbing away about whatever footling thing it is that has vexed them, you must always be first in there with a warm, friendly cuddle. You need very acute antennae to sniff out when a camp-mates upper lip is on the wobble. They'll then generally go off into the jungle to calm themselves down. You have to follow them out. You give them a cuddle. And then they will start crying salt tears all over your shoulder. This makes for excellent telly. We like it a lot.
5. Do not have any rows with your camp-mates, no matter how loathsome they are. Doesn't matter how much they get on your wick, you've just got to soak it up. And soak it up. And soak it up some more. For three weeks, you must turn yourself into a veritable human sponge. Your saintly behaviour will be noted.
BUT. And this is a very big BUT. You must have one good row. Normally this will be with the camp bully. Perhaps two bullies who have been picking on a younger less-mouthy member of the camp. What you have to do, after about a week, is take down that bully. (But remember - no bitching beforehand.) Without losing your rag, and whilst maintaining a perfectly civilised tone of voice, you tell the bully to back off. Otherwise you'll ream them a new a-hole.
6. The chores. Bend over backwards to do your share of the chores - PARTICULARLY the cooking. The cook always takes centre-stage, and gets tons of the glory. Not that they have to do anything much, apart from fry some meat and veg, and boil up a bit of rice. It ain't difficult. Well not that difficult. But it's certainly worth knowing a few tricks in the kitchen. If you can, say, dice carrots like a pro, that will go a long way.
As for gathering the fire-wood: get tons of the stuff. What the hell else have you got to do all day about from gossip about the other celebs?
7. Crying. Jungle winners do not overdo the crying. Basically: you are allowed to cry ONLY ONCE when you are in the jungle. This will be the magical moment when you hear the voice of your loved one, or read a card from your little baby boy. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME THAT CRYING IS ACCEPTABLE.
Crying because you've had your feelings hurt, or because you're hungry, or because you've screwed up a bush-tucker trial. It ain't on. Man up!
8. Since you're going to be spending a hell of a lot of time half-naked, then can you do yourself a favour and go down to the gym for a couple of months beforehand. Viewers - and tabloid picture editors, for that matter - would, for choice, prefer to look at toned bods.
Millions of viewers are going to be looking at your midriff. Make sure it's going to pass muster.
9. DO NOT sing around the camp-fire. Especially if you're a singer - unless it is all done in a very jokey, taking-the-piss-out-of-yourself way.
Also: do not dance around the fire, even if you're a professional. Especially if you're a professional.
Be very careful about unleashing your secret talent on your camp-mates.
The only real skills that you're allowed to display in the jungle are for chopping up food and tending the fire. Anything else smacks of swanking and nobody, but nobody, likes a braggart.
10. No screaming. A little bit of fear is absolutely fine. But we do not like screaming bed-wetters who start yowling when they've got a cockroach down their back. It just makes us roll our eyes and say, "Oh for God's sake!"
A small amount of fear though - that's lovely. As in, "Ohh. I don't fancy this much above half. But I'll give it a go." We warm to people who put up with all these indignities with a good grace. Above all, we like people who are not greedy double-dealers, and who instead are considerate and selfless and who put the team first. This is, admittedly, a big ask. But it's only for three weeks, and then you can just revert back to being your usual misery-guts. But the difference now is that you'll be a famous misery-guts who is once again being welcomed back onto the pages of Hello! magazine. Nice work if you can get it.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more