Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 24 May 2016

We went wild for sensible Charlie

By Lindy McDowell

Published 06/12/2012

Charlie Brooks
Charlie Brooks

Charlie Brooks has won I'm A Celeb but we're invited to ponder whether - as some commentators allege - this has come at the expense of her small daughter Kiki and her "cruel" (their word) treatment on the show.

Little Kiki, who is seven, had a walk-on role in one of the show's trials. In the Door to Door challenge, contestants were invited to pick a door behind which they might find a treat - or a game-over card.

Charlie and her partner picked the wrong one - missing the door behind which wee Kiki and the other relatives were standing.

The child heard her mother's voice. She was understandably a bit crestfallen. But was she "distraught" as some coverage suggested? The child looked more cross than crushed to me. She looked like she was about to punch the producer.

She is a gorgeous little girl with her mother's expressive features. Fortunately, she also seems to have inherited her mother's level-headed approach to life.

Among the hysterics, bikinis, air-heads and blatant self-promotionists, Brooks and Ashley, the Pussy Cat Doll runner-up from this year's show, were a welcome breath of fresh jungle air.

The actress in particular didn't play to the camera. She was understated, occasionally irritated, down-to-earth and sensible. She was the ordinary, intelligent girl viewers could relate to.

During the traditional letter-reading scene which is designed to promote celeb blubbing she refused to get weepy because: "I don't want my little girl to see me crying on TV."

She has been criticised for taking Kiki out of school for the show's duration. But she would presumably have been similarly censured had she left her at home.

Charlie won not because she'd flashed her cleavage but because she displayed a bit of common sense.

And viewers, it turns out, like that. Less is more.

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