'I'm jealous of those going into the jungle': Vicky
Reigning jungle queen Vicky Pattison is set to return to the I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! camp to host the ITV2 spin-off show. The Geordie Shore star tells Jeananne Craig what this year's batch of contestants can expect
What a difference a year makes. Last November, Vicky Pattison was heading to Australia to compete in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! and eventually be crowned Queen of the Jungle. This year, the Geordie Shore star is back in Oz, swapping the great outdoors for a plush hotel to host spin-off show Extra Camp, with Stacey Solomon, Joe Swash and Chris Ramsey.
"The show is going to be dead hands-on. I'm even excited about the cockroaches - yeah man, I love it!" exclaims Pattison (28). "I feel like we're the main camp's naughty little brother, so we get away with more. I think we're definitely going to cut loose and be little rascals. Ant and Dec are the big brothers, and we're the naughty little brothers."
Here, the party-loving star tells us how she's deadly serious about the presenting gig and why she's been itching to get back to the jungle (and it's nothing to do with ants in her hammock).
"Chris has got his bird and his kid coming out, Joe and Stacey [who are dating] are happy, and I'm going to third wheel everyone else!" says Pattison, who's dated fellow reality stars Mario Falcone and Spencer Matthews in the past.
"I'll be there on date night, like, 'Where are we going guys?' I won't have anyone flying out to visit. I really want to focus and I want to be really good at it. It's my first proper opportunity like this and I've made no secret of the fact that I'd love to have a career with a bit of longevity to it."
To date, Pattison's hosted Judge Geordie, captained a team on It's Not Me, It's You and was a regular on Loose Women.
"I'm a little bit in awe of everyone else," she admits. "I feel like they've had a lot more practise than me. I'm just really nervous and the last thing I need is someone coming out and distracting me, because I know what I'm like, I'll get drunk and do something silly. I just want to focus on it and do something good."
Pattison was fearless in the jungle, but she believes there's more to being a great campmate than having courage, stamina and patience.
"Be kind," she says. "It's often overlooked in this industry where you expect it to be quite cut-throat but, in that situation, having a little patience with people, biting your tongue or helping out, looking out for someone who might be slightly older, it goes so far."
She credits 2014's runner-up Jake Quickenden with offering sage advice. "He said, 'Pick your battles'. For someone like me as well, who can be quite quick to judge or speak, that advice was invaluable. I think a lot of campmates could learn a lot from that."
As ever there were a lot of rumours about who was set to appear on the show, but now the line-up's been announced. Carol Vorderman, Ola Jordan and footballer Wayne Bridge are all set to hit the jungle, but there's one Geordie Shore member who, despite speculation, Pattison insists won't be joining them.
"Holly Hagan's so lovely and she's hilarious, but she's the least outdoorsy person I've ever met in my life. She hated everything on Geordie Shore - absolutely everything," explains Pattison.
"She hated skiing, camping in the outback, she hated horse-riding, she hated going in an igloo - everything! So the idea that she would be sleeping in a hammock, showering outside, getting covered in cockroaches, is ridiculous. She'd be funny as owt, but there's not an ice cube's chance in hell."
It might have been tough at times, but Pattison would give anything to relive her camp experience.
"The only thing I'm dubious or a little bit nervous about is the fact that it's the first year I'll be going back to it. I'm a bit gutted about how jealous I'm going to be [seeing the new campmates], because it's an amazing experience," she says.
"The feeling you get when you're in there - of achievement, of teamwork, of camaraderie - everything you get from being an official campmate is something you can't recreate. I've come to terms with that this year, that's a feeling I'm never going to regain."
It's been quite a year for the Newcastle native since she was crowned the winner. "I came out of the jungle last year and I was so overwhelmed. My feet didn't touch the ground," she recalls. "I literally flew back and I had something like five hours before my first appearance on Loose Women. It was a two-week whirlwind tour of daytime TV and amazing events, The X Factor, everything."
In hindsight, she wishes she'd taken some time out. "It was amazing but I should have gone home and seen my family. I should have seen those people that I'd so desperately missed. I worked myself too hard. I came off Grimmy [on BBC Radio 1] and collapsed in tears and was like, 'I'm not sure how to deal with this any more, all of this adulation'," says Pattison.
"All of this publicity and all of these opportunities are great, but they're nothing if you haven't got the right people along on the journey with you. So don't forget your family and friends, the people who were there for you before you became Queen of the Jungle or anything else. Just remember who keeps you nice and normal, because that's what helped you win it."
- I'm A Celebrity... Extra Camp on ITV2, tomorrow, 10.45pm. I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! returns to ITV tomorrow, 9pm