Joe Swash and Dean Gaffney to be new arrivals on I’m A Celebrity… South Africa
Former king of the jungle Joe Swash and ex-EastEnders star Dean Gaffney are set to be the latest contestants to arrive on I’m A Celebrity… South Africa.
The pair, who competed on the ITV reality show in 2008 and 2006 respectively, were announced in the closing moments of Monday’s episode.
Actor and presenter Swash, 40, was crowned the winner of the eighth series of the regular show, and credits the experience for introducing him to his wife Stacey Solomon.
“I’m A Celebrity holds a big place in my heart,” he said.
“I won it and I was lucky enough to go on to present the spin-off series on ITV2 for 10 years.
“I met Stacey whilst I was out in Australia and me and Stacey have now married and we have had kids. Doing the all-stars series is closure. It finishes off the circle.”
Asked about Solomon’s reaction to his return to the jungle, he added: “Stacey is over the moon about me doing it.
“The jungle holds a big part in both our hearts. Without the jungle, we wouldn’t have each other. In a way, we owe it to the jungle to say goodbye.”
Swash, who describes himself as “a bit of a gagger and a screamer” said his previous experience had changed him “in a nice way”.
“Before I went in, I always thought of myself as an imposter and I felt I wasn’t meant to be there,” he said.
“Doing the jungle gave me the confidence to believe in myself and it was a huge turning point in my life and career.”
I’m A Celebrity… South Africa sees prior contestants on the regular show battle it out to be crowned the first I’m A Celebrity Legend.
“Of course it would be amazing to be crowned the champion,” Swash said.
“But I am mainly doing this programme to say thank you to the jungle and put a full stop at the end of the journey.
“My eldest son, Harry, was one when I did the jungle and he is 16 now! I want the kids to watch I’m A Celebrity… South Africa and for both of us to be able to tell them ‘I’m A Celebrity is where mummy and daddy met’.
“The jungle is always going to be a big part of our family.”
Gaffney admitted he re-watches his infamous I’m A Celebrity live trial whenever he needs cheering up and that “my pain is everyone else’s gain”.
During the jungle spa trial, which included putting his head in a bowl for a hair wash with cockroaches while wearing a bathrobe, the actor could not stop screaming – providing viewers with one of the series’ most memorable moments.
“That live trial became folklore. Every year it gets wheeled out as one of the best moments, so even if I want to forget it I can’t,” Gaffney said.
“People still stop me in the street and chat to me about the trial. And whenever I am having a bad day, I put the trial on and it makes me feel better. My pain is everyone else’s gain.”
He continued: “It would be a massive trajectory to go from ‘screamer of the year in 2006’ to go and win the thing.
“That would be unbelievable. But the camp will be fierce because everyone wants to be the first I’m A Celebrity Legend.”
Earlier on Monday’s episode, campmates were faced with a “horrendous” task, after a last minute surprise announcement from hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.
The celebrities will have to take part in a secret ballot and vote who will be leaving camp, the result of which will be revealed in Tuesday’s episode.
All three smashed it but a special mention for @helenflanagan1! What a turn-up for the books 💪 😍 #ImACeleb pic.twitter.com/cMoZpt6s77
— I'm A Celebrity… (@imacelebrity) May 1, 2023
They reacted with horror to the news, with Georgia Toffolo exclaiming: “Have you ever heard anything as horrendous as that?”
“Nasty, nasty thing to do. We’re all getting along really well. But them’s the rules,” added Phil Tufnell.
Former royal butler Paul Burrell told the Bush Telegraph: “that smiling assassin duo (McPartlin and Donnelly) has delivered an incendiary device into the middle of the heart of our camp and family.
“I am not very happy.”
Earlier, Myleene Klass, Amir Khan and Helen Flanagan were selected to take part in the highest ever trial in the show’s history.
The World’s End challenge saw the trio climb a 1,100-metre tall crane-like structure in a bid to unhook stars.
Flanagan, who has previously been infamous for refusing trials, overcame her fear and the trio returned to camp with all 11 stars.
I’m A Celebrity…South Africa airs weeknights at 9pm on ITV1 & ITVX.