Belfast Telegraph

I'm A Celebrity ... Extra Camp hosts get ready to Jungle

The countdown to I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! is back on Sunday, and this year’s Extra Camp presenters can’t wait to get stuck into the drama. Co-hosts Scarlett Moffatt, Joe Swash and Joel Dommett talk to Gemma Dunn

There's no question whether this year's I'm A Celebrity ... Extra Camp hosts are up to the job. After all, the newbies - current Queen of the Jungle Scarlett Moffatt and 2016 runner-up and comedian Joel Dommett - know the process better than most. And, for the unfamiliar, the show's veteran presenter and former King of the Jungle, Joe Swash, is only too happy to advise.

"It's going to be brilliant," quips the former EastEnders star, (35), who has featured on the ITV2 spin-off every year since winning I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! in 2008. "I love going out there with new people; you buzz off of their excitement as well.

"I've seen it and know what to expect but you lot don't know what to expect," he says, gesturing at his excited co-hosts. "You know Brendan from Coach Trip? I'm almost like him. I walk round with an umbrella going 'Can everyone see the umbrella?" I'm like their tour guide. I love it."

"You are the oracle," agrees Moffatt (27).

"It's nice for us because we have someone who's an inside man," adds Dommett, (31). "I think if we were all new we would be a lot more scared about it, but I feel that you're Gandalf of the Jungle."

It's true. In just a matter of minutes, the lively trio have solved tanning woes ("We'll get spray tans. And every Friday we'll exfoliate" - Moffatt); to dress code ("I imagine I'll start with trousers for the first three days, and then slowly cut those trousers until they're shorts" - Dommett) and, most crucial of all, combatting the heat ("I got a tweet from a non-sweat armpit company that are going to send me loads of pads, so I don't have to use sanitary towels" - Swash).

So with the "basics" covered, what else are they looking forward to?


"Honestly, and this sounds really sad, but seeing the show before everyone else (is what I'm most excited about)," says Moffatt, confiding that she's "jealous" of this year's celebs.

"I remember going back and being really jealous of all the people (in the jungle), because they're all experiencing it for the first time," Swash concurs. "It's the closest we'll get to going back in there, doing this show."

"I'm really excited to be there and being able to eat," cries Dommett.

Of working alongside Geordie presenters Ant and Dec, Moffatt adds: "It's like a big extended TV family. It's just lovely. It's nice that when I do see them now, it's for Extra Camp, not for a horrific trial. We can just say 'Hello' and have a cup of tea together, rather than 'What have I got to do now?'"


As well as dissecting the daily drama, the straight-talking threesome will get all the latest behind-the-scenes gossip, including the insiders' guide to the dreaded Bushtucker Trials.

Are they likely to volunteer themselves this year, however?

"I'm scared of everything!" responds Moffatt. "The only reason I did the trials was because I didn't want to let everybody else down. Like I can go hungry, I'm not bothered, (but) to say 'Sorry guys, I couldn't do a five-minute challenge so you'll all have to be hungry', I couldn't deal with that.

"I wouldn't do it for giggles; I don't want to eat a deer p**** ever again. I've got no reason to. But you would," she says, turning to Swash.

"I've made a rod for my own back, because if I don't do them I look like I'm scared of them," he reacts. "I don't like doing them, but I like the feeling after doing them. Does that make sense? It's a sense of achievement; I'm not achieving much, but to me it's my world."


When it comes to harmony in camp, the hosts sit on different sides of the fence.

"I like it when everybody gets on," states Moffatt.

"Whereas I love an argument," notes Swash. "I like both sides of it, it brings you different shows. Like last year everybody got on, so emotionally we was with them. And other years you've got people in there that you want to stay in because he's driving that person mad. It brings different tones to the show."

"What makes this show wonderful is that it's about people coming together," Dommett adds. "It's not about polarising people. Last year there was so much madness in the news with Brexit and Trump, so it was so nice to watch people getting along."


While the jungle fanatics count themselves as friends ("'Cause it's so intense, you sort of bond quicker 'cause you're kind of in this together and you're all feeling the same thing" - Swash), family visits aren't off limits - particularly for Moffatt.

"I've got my mum flying out, then she's flying back 'cause she's got tickets to see Steps. And then three days later she's flying back out," explains the former Googlebox star. "Then my dad and nanny are coming out," she adds with a laugh.

"We're like The Brady Bunch. Honestly, we're like Geordie Von Trapps. We can't be apart for too long."

Could she survive a stint in the jungle with them?

"I could go with any of me family and be alright," says Moffatt.

"I'd love to take my mum," says Dommett, who's known for his roles in Skins and Impractical Jokes UK. "She's a garden designer so she would be constantly rearranging."


Moffatt's crown might firmly be in place for now, at least, but that's not to say she's reluctant to hand it over.

"I hope the next person that wins has as much luck as me, because I'm still on cloud nine," she says. "It's unbelievable. This year couldn't have been any better. It's like a magic crown. I hope it's a girl - girl power."

"I love that we've had such a fun year," says Dommett.

Do they have any pearls of wisdom for 2017's line-up?

"My advice to anyone going in is if you haven't watched the show, watch it, because you need to prepare yourself mentally for what's about to happen," exclaims Moffatt.

"It's an experience that changes you," Dommett concludes. "It's like prison.

"You come out a different man, (but) you're hanging out with the guy from Homes Under the Hammer, rather than people who've broken into homes with a hammer."

I'm A Celebrity ... Extra Camp will return to ITV2 on Sunday, after I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! on ITV, which begins at 9pm.

This year's I'm a Celebrity contestants are:

  • Boxer Amir Khan
  • Comedian Shappi Khorsandi
  • Boris Johnson's dad, Stanley
  • Actor Jamie Lomas
  • Coronation Street actress Jennie McAlpin
  • YouTube star Jack Maynard
  • Vanessa White of The Saturdays
  • Made In Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo
  • Former footballer Dennis Wise
  • Footballer's wife Rebekah Vardy

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