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‘I’m a Celebrity is grim viewing that makes me heave but I can’t help loving it’

Sara Wallis says I’m a Celebrity is her guilty pleasure despite having to watch people glug cocktails made of pigs’ bums and biting fermented eggs

This trial could leave a bad taste

I’m watching two veteran soap stars stick their faces into a bowl of slippery sheep testicles, and honestly, I’m questioning my TV choices.

Why are we all so addicted to a show that’s so revolting? Do the dark nights make us mad?

We’re a week (and 19 years) into ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and everything is as it has always been.

The non-ageing Ant and Dec giggle like schoolboys at their own bad jokes (aided and abetted by a raucous crew), celebs pretend they’ve heard of each other, ­tensions rise as the hunger kicks in and it becomes perfectly normal to ask, “How are you with snakes?”

“Not good”.

The answer is always, “Not good”.

Simon Gregson and Adam Woodyat holding court in the castle



We’re starting to get the measure of this year’s contestants as they freeze and starve their way through this alleged career high at a Welsh castle.

David Ginola brings the va-va-voom, inspiring crushes from man, woman and beast. He sang Come On Arlene, then took his top off. Formidable.

Arlene Phillips clearly wishes her agent hadn’t talked her into this and Frankie Bridge (place bets: she will win) cried after a row over mushy rice with Naughty Boy.

Did he think he was on MasterChef? He’ll cook that bloody robin by week three if he’s not had a decent meal.

Castle Scare Fair for Simon Gregson and Adam Woodyat


Kieron McCarron/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

And so to the eating trials, now a near-daily ruiner of TV snacks. It makes me heave to watch someone glug down a pink milkshake made of pigs’ anuses or bite into a fermented egg.

And yet, because of a fear of missing out, here I am, half-watching from behind a cushion because these have become TV talking points.

I’m a Celeb allows us to tap into our childish side – the inner kid that makes naughty jokes, plays pranks, competes in idiotic challenges, discusses bodily ­functions in depth and laughs if someone falls over. It’s like Saturday morning telly for grown-ups.

“It’s just a silly game,” said Richard Madeley, who unsurprisingly fell ill (and departed) after 24 hours that included crawling through a shower of offal, fish guts and rotten veg and then eating ­squirrel for dinner.

Simon and Adam get stuck in


Kieron McCarron/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Millions will watch this silly game every single night for another fortnight, thanks to Ant and Dec and an unshakeable ­format that never tires.

Who doesn’t want to watch athletes and pop stars desperately divvy up tiny morsels of flapjacks or share a coffin with rats?

There’s also a jolly, community feel about live TV – we’re going through this mildly disgusting show together.

No one abandon ship, what else would we talk about?

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