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Panto producers have been watching anxiously as Doctor Who actor Colin Baker subsists on a diet of rice and beans in the Australian outback.
Sometime Clive Conway Productions speaker Baker was delighted when he was offered the chance to compete in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, telling friends that he hoped to lose a stone in weight.
“I am a rather large gentleman and I adore my food,” said the roly-poly actor. “I could give up booze with a drop of a hat but food, my gosh there is not even a fridge I can raid in the middle of the night!”
But now it looks as though Baker who, win or lose, is due in Bournemouth on December 8 to star as dame Nurse Nelly in Sleeping Beauty at the town’s Pavilion Theatre, may have lost even more weight than he planned.
An insider tells me that the costume department fear that Nelly may have dropped at least a couple of dress sizes. In other words Colin’s antics in the jungle have had them quite literally in stitches.
He has dealt with surprising ease with the privations of jungle living but then as the flamboyant sixth Doctor Who back in the 1980s he had daleks and cybermen to contend with. Colin has brought a certain eccentric style to the jungle with him too. Though it should be noted that the ritual of other contestants rubbing his “magic belly” for luck before facing a jungle ordeal seems to have worn off. And that may just be because as his mighty stomach has gradually decreased in size it has somehow seemed less magical.
Whatever the reason, it may soon all be over for this son of Gallifrey. Tonight’s I’m A Celebrity… will find Colin going head to head with former darts champion Eric Bristow in bug-ridden bushtucker trial. Winner takes all. Loser gets an eviction notice and a one-way ticket back to Blighty, In Colin’s case he’ll be straight into knockabout panto mode facing Su Pollard as the hiss-boo villain.
As speculation continues over the mystery illness that has laid song and dance man Brian Conley low, the nation is going to have to manage without its nightly fix of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
The bug-munching antics of various showbiz types desperate for a boost for their careers is not being screened tonight. Instead viewers will travel to Turin instead of Queensland, Australia, to witness football, in fact Juventus v Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League. A very important match maybe but not as important in the minds of I’m A Celebrity… fans as the first jungle eviction which is coming up tomorrow night (Wednesday).
Who will be first out? Remember last year that particular honour went to Clive Conway Productions speaker Stefanie Powers.
Crikey! It’s not only political enemies trying to keep ‘walkabout’ MP Nadine Dorries in the I’m Celebrity Get Me Out of Here jungle. According to the Daily Mail Rachael Butler, whose husband the MP John Butler had a six month affair with Dorries last year, has the voting number on speed-dial.
“I wanted to see her suffer. I don’t want her to be voted off- they go into a five-star hotel if they leave,” she told the newspaper. Mrs Butler has already been able to enjoy the sight of Ms Dorries eating lamb’s testicle and ostrich anus and being smothered with cockroaches, crickets and maggots. She says she intends to carry on voting.
Figures just in show that 9.8 million viewers tuned in to watch maverick Tory MP Nadine Dorries temporarily entombed and showered with cockroaches, maggots, meal-worms and other horrible bugs on I’m A Celebrity Get Me out of Here last night.
Not quite the 16 million she was hoping for. And, as she wimped out half way through the challenge, condemning her jungle camp-mates to a near starvation rations of beans and rice, I bet she’s relieved that fewer than 10 million people actually witnessed it.
At least she did better than whinging former Corrie star Helen Flanagan ( already nicknamed Helen Flapagain) who baled out of the Bug Burial challenge within seconds of the lid coming down on her cockroach-enabled ‘coffin’.
The great British public obviously liked what they saw – a quivering, hysterical soap actress and a noticeably distressed MP who has deserted both her parliamentary duties and her constituents for a trip to Australia and a chance to be on the telly – being subjected to humiliating horrors by a gloating Ant and Dec.
They promptly voted for the pair to go head to head again tonight in one of the show’s infamous bush-tucker trials. Wonder if the viewing figures will rise with the prospect of watching Nadine chowing-down on a marsupial’s member. It could be a tough one in every sense of the word. Nothing like the Spotted Dick they serve in the House of Commons restaurants.