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I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here's 20 best ever campmates

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here's 20 best ever campmates
As I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! returns for its 20th series, Media Mole counts down the show's most memorable 20 campmates.

Coronavirus? Shmaronavirus! Nothing can stop I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, not even a global pandemic.

The big beast of reality TV shows returns for its landmark 20th series on ITV tonight, albeit with one major change - this year our new cast of celebrities will be braving the Welsh winter weather rather than the Aussie jungle.

Some 220 famous faces have taken on the I'm A Celeb experience over the last two decades and here, Media Mole counts down our (inevitably-controversial) ranking of the 20 best campmates ever.

Janice Dickinson on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

20. Janice Dickinson

Appeared: Series 7 (2007) - Second place

The former model - or as she would have it, the world's first supermodel - Janice Dickinson was the centre of most of the rows in series seven, which usually involved her coming up against PR guru Lynne Franks. The British public loved seeing her suffer and consequently she took part in a record 10 bushtucker trials - although her fortitude impressed enough to see her finish runner-up to...

Christopher Biggins on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

19. Biggins

Appeared: Series 7 (2007) - Winner

Well before his ill-fated stint on Celebrity Big Brother, panto legend Christopher 'Biggins' Biggins provided much-needed light relief in the series seven camp, practically laughing his way to the King of the Jungle throne. Notable highlights included him cuddling up to a rat in his sleep and educating celebrity chef John Burton Race on the delights of swinging.

Gillian McKeith on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

18. Gillian McKeith

Appeared: Series 10 (2010) - Eighth place

Notorious nutritionist and professional poo policewoman Gillian McKeith's I'm A Celeb appearance is primarily remembered for one reason - faintgate. Having been chosen by the British public to undertake the latest bushtucker trial, a distraught McKeith made her way over to Ant and Dec and promptly fainted, live on TV. But was she faking it? Decide for yourself:

John Lydon on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

17. John Lydon

Appeared: Series 3 (2004) - Seventh place

All these years later, it still doesn't make sense why John Lydon went on this show. The Sex Pistols frontman was every bit as eccentric, rebellious and foul-mouthed as you'd hope for, complaining about everything from his cup of tea to the presence of Katie Price in the jungle. Of the latter, he ranted: "The woman's fucking talentless. Piss off! It doesn't do anything, and when it does it nags all the way through it. Come on, kick her arse out of here."

Mel Sykes on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

16. Melanie Sykes

Appeared: Series 14 (2014) - Third place

I'm A Celeb met its match with TV presenter Mel Sykes, who tackled the bushtucker trials and the tribulations of camp life with characteristic Northern gusto and unflappable attitude - perhaps best demonstrated by her downing a glass of blended sheep eyeballs as if she was chugging a pint.

Kerry Katona on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

15. Kerry Katona

Appeared: Series 3 (2004) - Winner

Arguably the best ever series of the show (Katie Price, Peter Andre, John Lydon, Jennie Bond, Razor Ruddock), series three culminated with former Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona being crowned the show's first ever Queen of the Jungle. "I just thought I was going to get drunk every day," she told Ant and Dec after winning. "And if I did get voted out, I thought I could just go out on the piss with you two."

John Barrowman on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

14. John Barrowman

Appeared: Series 18 (2018) - Third place

Well, we couldn't have countdown without the FAAABULOUS Barrowman in it, could we? And I'm A Celebrity couldn't really have avoided having him as a contestant at some point in time. Funny, energetic and up for anything, Barrowman is almost the textbook jungle campmate.

Roman Kemp in the lineup for I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here© ITV

13. Roman Kemp

Appeared: Series 19 (2019) - Third place

Proving that you don't have to be argumentative, outrageous or losing your mind to make it in this list, our Roman is at number 13. In truth he's a totemic inclusion for all of the "nice young men" that have appeared on the show over the years - notable mentions also go to George Shelley, Dougie Poynter, James McVey, Jake Quickenden and Adam Thomas.

Carol Thatcher on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

12. Carol Thatcher

Appeared: Series 5 (2005) - Winner

The daughter of Margaret Thatcher, Carol proved that she wasn't the only one in her family capable of winning a nationwide vote, becoming the second ever Queen of the Jungle in 2005. Viewers warmed to her for her self-deprecating sense of humour and fearless attitude towards the trials - on her day she could chomp camel testicles better than anyone out there.

Emily Atack on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

11. Emily Atack

Appeared: Series 18 (2018) - Second place

A shining example of all of the lovely girl-next-door types we've had on the show over the years. Bubbly, warm and game for a laugh, Emily would have been a surefire winner of her series had she not entered the jungle with Harry Redknapp.

George Takei on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

10. George Takei

Appeared: Series 8 (2008) - Third place

Perhaps a surprise inclusion at the time, Star Trek legend George Takei quickly warmed himself to the nation by jumping into the jungle challenge both feet first. Tackling the bushtucker trials with humour and gusto, he also formed a bromance with Joe 'salt of the earth' Swash - even mastering the art of the Cockney accent.

Scarlett Moffatt on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

9. Scarlett Moffatt

Appeared: Series 16 (2016) - Winner

From Queen of the Sofa to Queen of the Jungle, Gogglebox Geordie Scarlett Moffatt triumphed in the 2016 series. Endearingly vulnerable, Scarlett struck up an unlikely friendship with Larry Lamb - at one point seeking solace on his lap when things got a bit too overwhelming. Bless! Series 16 should also be remembered for its cast of thoroughly lovely people - from Carol Vorderman and Jordan Banjo to Joel Dommett, Sam Quek and Adam Thomas.

Peter Andre on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

8. Peter Andre

Appeared: Series 3 (2004) - Third place

Aussie popstar Peter Andre finally found the mysterious girl he had been searching for on series three of I'm A Celeb, famously wooing glamour model Katie Price with his "acorn". Their dalliance down under led to a marriage, two children and an enduring reality TV career, but his appearance on the show also got his juices of a creative kind flowing as he developed the concept of 'Insania' - later released, of course, as a single.

Kim Woodburn on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

7. Kim Woodburn

Appeared: Series 9 (2009) - Second place

Many years before she became a Celebrity Big Brother legend, Kim 'I'll have your guts for garters' Woodburn cut her reality TV teeth with an appearance on I'm A Celeb. In truth her outbursts were tame in comparison but the fire was clearly burning: at one point she went face to face with former heavyweight boxer Joe Bugner in a row over a rack of lamb (in the process calling him James, naturally). She also read Katie Price to filth, telling her: "You are what I thought you'd be. You're a publicity seeker, you live and die for publicity and you do it well. You protest all the time but you love it."

Paul Burrell on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

6. Paul Burrell

Appeared: Series 4 (2004) - Second place

Princess Diana's former butler, the notoriously shy Paul Burrell is remembered on I'm A Celebrity for one thing only - his utterly ridiculous reactions to the 'Hell Holes' bushtucker trial. Clearly a virgin when it came to hole-in-the-wall action, Burrell ran through every facial expression known to man (most of them various shades of horror) as he felt his way towards meals for camp.

Martin Roberts on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

5. Martin Roberts

Appeared: Series 16 (2016) - Sixth place

TV property expert Martin Roberts provided the comedy gold of series 16 - almost all of it without realising. He had an incredible knack of unintentionally winding up his fellow campmates with his... well... tittish tendencies and was also prone to being highly emotional, memorably breaking down in tears at the fire one night after a spat about water provisions.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

4. Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

Appeared: Series 1 (2002) - Second place

Ahh, the lovely Tara. The first series of any great reality show is often remembered with fondness and I'm A Celebrity's inaugural outing in 2002 is a shining example of just that: from Rhona Cameron's infamous "sometimes" rant to the sizzling chemistry between Tara and Darren Day, as well as the triumph of veteran DJ Tony Blackburn as the first ever King of the Jungle.

But Tara's "journey", to borrow a term, sticks most in the mind. The party girl from the social circuit beset with several problems in her past, she took on what turned out to be an experience of her lifetime. Raw, vulnerable and honest, she spoke candidly about her battles with drug addiction and seemed to gain genuine insight from her fortnight in the jungle.

Tara sadly died in 2017 at the age of 45.

Katie Price on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

3. Katie Price

Appeared: Series 3 (2004) - Fifth place; Series 9 (2009) - Quit

To date the only contestant to have appeared as contestant twice, Katie Price takes the bronze medal in our roll call of the greatest campmates ever. Her first stint on the show heralded the beginning of the end for her 'Jordan' persona, while it also marked the beginning of her relationship with Peter Andre, whom she went on to marry, have two kids with and appear together in a multitude of fly-on-the-wall reality shows. Her return to the jungle five years later was less successful and she walked out after just nine days, having been picked by the public to take on the bushtucker trials six days in a row.

Harry Redknapp on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

2. Harry Redknapp

Appeared: Series 18 (2018) - Winner

There was only ever going to be one winner in 2018, and that was 'Arry. The diamond geezer veteran football manager became known to the wider British public on the show, winning a legion of new fans. With an anecdote for every occasion, Harry had a willingness to get stuck in with every single trial that came his way and also melted the hearts of the nation with his utter devotion to wife Sandra.

Lady Colin Campbell on I'm A Celebrity© ITV

1. Lady C

Appeared: Series 15 (2015) - Quit

And our greatest ever campmate is... Lady Colin Campbell! She wasn't a winner, nor did she even wait around for the public to vote her out - walking out of the show as she did after 17 days - but pound for pound she was easily the best value entertainment the show has ever seen.

Not one to suffer fools gladly, the socialite and royal expert argued with her fellow contestants almost as a sporting endeavour. No-one was safe from her fire - Duncan Bannatyne was branded "a little pussy" and Tony Hadley was a "hypocritical, pretentious arsehole", while Brian Friedman was told: "You're so full of shit, if you ever took an enema you'd disappear."

Almost undoubtedly a nightmare to live with but TV gold for viewers, Lady C is our ultimate Queen of the Jungle.

We now invite you to conclude this trip down memory lane with 30 minutes - yes, 30 minutes - of Lady C's most argumentative moments:

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! starts Sunday at 9pm on ITV.


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