The hunger games: Why I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here is so good.

Regular readers of mine may find the next sentence I am going to write a bit shocking. I watch, indulge in and sans shame a fan of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! Yes, I realise such a statement will cause you to regard me with askance given that I have never hidden my disdainful feelings about reality TV shows, but there is something just fantastic about the world of IACGMOOH! that I enjoy and look forward to each night it’s on.

One of the good things about it is precisely a chronological one; it’s on for three weeks – and bearing in mind not every night either – and then it’s done. Unlike other public-voting shows it’s not drawn out for what feels like the entire duration of three seasons of the year, crossing from the beginning of summer into the end of winter, literally draining the nation’s collective consciousness like some massive televisual leech.

Another reason I love IACGMOOH! is because you do see people actually suffer on it. Big Brother – why will it never fully relegate itself to my past like how I wish the Spice Girls would I will never know but I live in hope – has nothing on this. I know a lot of things that happen on IACGMOOH! are there purely for entertainment purposes, such as eating roasted stick insect or drinking some hideous tea made of the finest blended millipede, and medical teams are standing by for when someone has to plunge their face into a fishbowl of giant cockroaches to retrieve a plastic star food ration. Yet no matter how many times you see the same creatures being eaten over the years it is always so thoroughly entertaining to see B-list celebrities wince at the prospect of having to eat something a kangaroo urinates through. Come on, it’s great! And as for being locked in a Perspex coffin for seven hours with nothing but a thousand soldier crabs to keep you company… kids’ stuff.

Watching the dynamics between the celebrities taps fantastically into my inner voyeurism as well. Admittedly that’s what these shows are all about anyway – hello, we’re back in Big Brother territory again. The current series of IACGMOOH! has already had its Lord of the Flies moments where I genuinely could envision the campmates electing leaders and proclaiming that he whom has the biggest conch leads them all. I can always identify with the person who gets fed up the quickest when someone is banal or irritating. I’d be exactly the same and would look to the nearest lagoon in the jungle to strop off to without hesitation when someone doesn’t clean up after themselves or won’t let an argument lie.

The star of this year’s series so far is definitely Coronation Street actress Helen Flanagan. She is a classic example that if you show your fears to the nation, they will make you suffer. And suffer she has too, though perhaps not as much as her campmates did at the expense of her lacklustre efforts of her first five trails. Mercifully she somehow managed to divorce herself of her fears of everything on the entire planet that breathes or swims which isn’t human and brought twelve big fat yellow stars home to the camp earlier this week, thus ending their week-long diet of rice and beans so they could feast on Wallaby rump for the evening. Glorious. Well done her!

Personal-surprise awesome inclusions in the Australian jungle this year for me are sixth-Time Lord Colin Baker and definite blast-from-my-80s-past, Limahl. I can imagine download sales of The Never-Ending Story will spike now, but this is fine because it’s a fantastic song.

And now the evictions have started and the first person is out. Brian Conley is this year’s Freddie Starr and has left due to medical reasons. Poor little rich boy Hugo Taylor’s spats with cook Rosemary Shrager make me laugh especially when he sobs afterwards… and how can you top Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts teaching Colin Baker how to do the Don’t Cha dance? Brilliant. They have to make the time pass.

This is reason I love IACGMOOH!; you genuinely get to see what these people are like as there is no way even the best celebrities can put up a façade for this amount of time. And plus I love Ant & Dec’s comedic silliness too.

The question on my mind though is, is Janine Butcher going to batter everyone to death with her giant conch? Time will tell!

Check out the IACGMOOH! official website here.

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