I'm A Celebrity: Former stars say 'embrace the testicle' for success

By Manish Pandey
Newsbeat reporter

Image source, Joel Anderson/ITV

If you're a fan of I'm A Celebrity, you'll know it's not long until before the snakes, bugs and terrified celebrities make a return to our screens.

The ITV show will be filmed at Abergele's Gwrych Castle in Wales for a second year, with Covid preventing a return to the Australian jungle.

The names vying to be king or queen of the castle include music producer Naughty Boy, Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox and BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Snoochie Shy.

But what do former contestants wish they'd known before entering - and what words of wisdom do they have for this year's celebs? Radio 1 Newsbeat has been speaking to 2017 winner Georgia Toffolo and 2020 runner-up Jordan North to find out.

'Embrace the testicle'

Most of us never have to deal with animal eyes and testicles going into our mouths - but it's obviously a different story if you're on I'm A Celebrity.

Both Georgia and Jordan - who've had plenty of experience - say the trick to the juicy challenges is to just keep going.

"Embrace the testicle," Georgia says, adding you should "neck everything they put in front because it's part of the most wonderful journey."

"When you put a fish eye in your mouth and you're chewing it, can you imagine? Then you crunch and all of this liquid bursts."

Image source, ITV/Shutterstock
Image caption,
Juicy? Georgia says the joy of getting back to camp with 10 stars "trumps the awful experience of eating"

"Get your head down and chomp. It sounds really obvious but you've just got to chew," Jordan adds.

"I had to chew a sheep's penis and it was just pure fat and gristle. You've just got to chomp."

Go heavy on the smalls

Even though Georgia, 27, did her I'm A Celeb stint in the sweltering Australian jungle and not a freezing Welsh castle, she says there's a lesson to learn in packing enough underwear.

"You get allocated a certain number of bikinis and underwear. Now I thought I was being very clever, just taking bikinis because I wanted to look nice."

Georgia ended up burning her only pair of pants on day three, so "actually had no knickers for the whole time I was in there".

Jordan, 31, wishes he knew just how cold it would be in the castle.

"People think there's heaters and it's all a set with undercover blankets."

"You really are very cold. And when you're cold, it can really affect your mood, and also, you're so hungry."

So to keep warm, Georgia says to make sure to "go heavy on the underwear… maybe thermal undies" in Wales.

Stay away from tea and coffee?

Jordan has a caffeine warning for anyone wanting to go in.

"One thing I wish I did - and we were told by the producers a week before - was to cut the caffeine intake."

"I love tea and coffee and there was no caffeine at all. So for the first three or four days, I had the worst headache. It was like my mind was cloudy because I completely came off caffeine."

Image source, ITV/Shutterstock
Image caption,
It'll be pretty chilly in Castle Camp

But Georgia says it's best not to "overthink it before you go in" and to just go all-in in the week's prior.

"From coffee to junk food, you're just stripped back."

"Why wouldn't you be gluttonous, and drink and eat everything before. Because you have nothing for nearly a month."

Look fear in the eyes

The show's all about confronting fears and last year, Jordan threw up after climbing a cliff on his first day - something he advises against.

He says he probably wouldn't have been so honest about the things he was scared of - which meant he ended up doing a lot of challenges.

"But then again, it's been the best thing that's happened to me because it's given me a new lease of life."

Image source, ITV/Shutterstock
Image caption,
"I'm going to New York which I've always wanted to do but was scared of planes. Now I'm like if I can get in a coffin full of snakes, I can get on a plane to New York"

Georgia was known for smiling her way through the most horrific challenges - and it's because she wanted to prove everyone wrong.

"I just kept thinking 'go on Georgia'. They'll all be laughing thinking I'll be totally rubbish, so just to prove that even if you're a little blonde thing, you can actually do it."

But they both agree the main thing is to just enjoy "the most extraordinary" experience.

  • I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! starts on Sunday on ITV

Additional reporting by Ben Mundy.

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