Charlene White is one of the stars competing on this year’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The much-loved ITV reality series returns to the Australian outback this year, following a two-year stint in Wales due to the pandemic.
White is no stranger to ITV, having become one of the network’s most recognisable faces thanks to her role as a regular panellist on the daytime show Loose Women.
The 42-year-old from Greenwich began her work as a journalist and TV presenter for BBC Look East. She also worked at Radio 5 Live and BBC London in the early years of her career.
Her time at ITV began in 2008 on ITV News at 5.30 and ITV News London.
White made history in April 2014 when she became the first Black newsreader to present ITV News at Ten.
Her guest spot on Loose Women in summer 2020 was so loved by viewers that she was granted a permanent position on the panel only five months later. White replaced Andrea McLean following McLean’s departure from the programme.
Viewers may also recognise White from her 2021 stint on Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox, in which she appeared alongside her colleague Judi Love to talk about all of TV’s wildest antics that week.
White presented the documentary Charlene White: Empire’s Child, which explored the impact of the British empire on the Caribbean diaspora. In it, she traced her family history from Totnes, Devon, to Clarendon, Jamaica.
She also presented an investigative special alongside Trinidanian-British journalist Trevor McDonald about the impact George Floyd’s killing had in the UK.
Last year, White attracted controversy around her decision to not wear a poppy onscreen. She does, however, wear a poppy offscreen.
Explaining her reasons for not wishing to wear the symbolic pin on TV, the presenter said: “I support and am patron of a number of charities, and due to impartiality rules, I am not allowed to visually support them all whilst presenting news programmes.
“That includes things like a red ribbon for World Aids Day, or a purple band for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Both these and many more charities do great things in the UK, but I’m not allowed to give them exposure on screen. So I feel uncomfortable supporting just one charity above all others, namely The Royal British Legion, but I fully support my colleagues who do choose to wear the poppy onscreen.”
Speaking about her decision to join I’m a Celeb, White said: “There aren’t that many opportunities to have when you get older and it will be nice to see if I can do this. I’ve given birth to two kids in quick succession, survived that and lived to tell the tale! So, I feel it’s now right to take on another big challenge."
She also predicted that she would slip into the role of being “mum and cook”.
I’m a Celebrity airs nightly on ITV at 9pm.