As Ian Wright enters the jungle, our writers have imagined how names including Jamie Vardy, Alan Pardew and Mike Dean would fare on ITV’s hit show.
After initially struggling to connect with his campmates, Vardy puts himself forward for the first bushtucker trial in an attempt to win friends.He arrives at his challenge and is excited by the prospect of earning a good meal for camp.
Dec explains to Vardy that all he has to do is lie in a Perspex box, where he will be joined by a number of ‘jungle critters’.
But he doesn’t seem to be listening.
Vardy takes one look at the snake that joins him in that box as soon challenge starts and says: “Come on then, dickhead” before biting its head off. The trial is stopped and the camp are awarded no stars.
Vardy takes the next trial by way of apology to his hungry campmates, who have eaten nothing but rice and beans for five days, and earns all 10 stars.
When the food package is lowered to camp later that evening, he races from his hammock to his address his campmates, nods his head and points to his chest.
“It was me that won all that. Fuckin’ me!”
Though his joy his short-lived when he realises it’s ostrich egg on the menu rather than four cans of red bull and a nicotine patch.
By the time the first vote comes along, snake-gate is still fresh in the public’s memory. Ant and Dec arrive in camp to announce who the first celebrity going will be.
The Geordie duo utter the words: “It’s… Jamie Vardy.”
It is when Mike Dean is elected camp president that he seems most comfortable.
On his first morning as boss, he settles himself down on the comfy red chair and surveys his kingdom. From there, he spots a stream of water leaking from a campmate’s bottle extinguish the final embers of last night’s fire.
Dean has a good view of the incident, so springs to life. He points at the fire from 10 yards away and his arm does not waver as he walks towards it, demanding that somebody quickly fetch the matches.
Louis Tomlinson is feeling particularly rebellious, however. He goes face-to-face with Dean, protesting that it is far too early to think about cooking breakfast and that the temperature is warm enough to leave the fire for an hour or two.
Dean doesn’t hesitate for a second, not even to ponder whether he shares Ant and Dec’s power to dismiss celebrities.
He plucks his luxury item, a rectangular piece of red card, from his top pocket and holds it aloft, before pointing at the Tomlinson’s suitcase and then at the exit.
“Off you pop,” he says.
When Pards first rocks up in the jungle, it’s surprisingly nice to see him back on the telly.
Nobody’s quite sure why he insists on walking around in an open shirt and budgie smugglers, but he’s clearly kept in decent nick during his time out of the dugout.
A few weeks in, however, and the fact he keeps passing up his meals so that the girls can eat first means there are some serious concerns for his health.
He insists he’s not here for the money, because the job offers haven’t dried up and, anyway, he’s still got another year left on the Newcastle contract.
That being said, it’s surprising how little he wants to talk about football, preferring instead to regale the other contestants with stories of sharing bottles of red in Fergie’s office and team-bonding trips to Barcelona.
He’s disarmingly kind to the older members of the camp, which a few cynical voices on Twitter suggest is only because he’s keen to make up for past misdemeanours, though he does let himself down one night after responding to Richard Madeley, who is five years his senior and had been reflecting on how TV had changed, with the words: “Alright, Grandad!”
As the self-appointed father figure, he’s always there with a shoulder to cry on or lingering hug for when the younger girls are finding things tough, but that’s not to say he’s above rating them all out of 10 when taking a private dip with the rest of the lads.
“Never sit in the comfy chair.”
It’s the motto Jake Humphrey has lived his life by, and a trip to the jungle isn’t going to change that.
The BT Sport presenter offers up his bed on the first night in camp to anyone who’d like it, claiming that he’d rather sleep on the ground anyway.
Never mind that there’s a hammock going spare. “If it’s good enough for the snakes then it’s good enough for me,” he says.
Humphrey quickly takes on the role of jungle motivator.
He’s always got a few words of advice for his fellow campmates as they head off to the next Bushtucker trial. Unfortunately, they’re always about how he only got an E, an N and a U in his A-Levels.
The 41-year-old sails through his first trial.
A coffin filled with rats is designed to be a test of Humphrey’s staying power, but that’s nothing for a man who did a two-year stint presenting Bamzooki.
It’s an impressive start for the lanky Norwich fan, and he manages to avoid elimination in the first public vote, proving that nice guys don’t always finish last.
His relentless positivity eventually begins to grate on his campmates, though, and he walks out after a humiliating dressing-down by Bobby Davro.
Having spent his life sitting in a room watching Manchester United matches in front of a green screen, YouTuber Mark Goldbridge is stunned to discover on arrival that the small camp, filled with hammocks and one random phone box, really does exist.
“This is like when your mum used to take you down to the shops on a Saturday,” he informs 10 other bemused celebrities. “You’re walking down the aisles, looking for the latest Eric Cantona annual, and you see your history teacher. You’re amazed. You’ve seen them in the classroom but you never knew they existed in real life.”
He’s also surprised to learn that cameras and a TV won’t be made available for him to stream his reaction to United matches live from the bush telegraph.
“For God’s sake!” he is heard shouting from inside the dunny. “For God’s sake! I don’t know why, but I blame Phil Jones!”
His campmates warm to his idiosyncrasies once they get to know him, but Goldbridge has his mind on one thing and one thing only. Upon leaving the jungle, he summons the nearest producer and asks them for his channel’s latest subscription figures.
Remarkably, they have gone through the roof.
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