The sooner I’m A Celebrity turns into Noel Edmonds’ grouse party, the better

GO on, admit it. You want Ant McPartlin back in the Australian jungle as fast as possible.

With or without his rehab ­certificate. Preferably driving John Barrowman’s jeep.

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Noel Edmonds’ mannequin doll should become a replacement for a few of the camp mates[/caption]

But definitely presenting I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! which kicked off, on Sunday night, with Dec hosting and Holly ­Willoughby hanging around like a competition winner.

An arrangement that would be unsustainable in other years. I’m prepared to cut the 2018 series some slack, though, for two reasons.

First, it is purely a temporary pairing and, second, ITV has promised me Noel Edmonds, who shouldn’t just have been the first one in the camp, he should’ve been choppered in about eight years ago, when the contestants started all this “bonding” rubbish, which has ruined more series than I care to remember.

Oh, what some of them could’ve done with a one-man feud generator like Noel, whose Wikipedia entry will give you a fair idea of his inner turmoil even before you get to the bit where he says: “When I die, my energy will return to where it came from.” Ilford?

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Holly Willoughby is hanging around like a competition winner[/caption]

He’s also got a life-size mannequin doll called Candice, who accompanies him everywhere and would be a more than welcome replacement for a few of the camp mates, who’ve got a bit of a Rita Who and Knob Too feel about them this year.

The knob part of that equation, fairly obviously, is all-singing, all-dancing John Barrowman “MBE” (Mentions Bums Endlessly), who described himself as “fabulous”, “an icon” and “down-to-earth” within the space of one sentence, on Sunday, and was wrong on every count.

He also hit on the yacht waiter, using one of his dance moves.

“It’s a pas de bourrée. Kick ball, change and turn. Can you do that?”

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John Barrowman described himself as ‘fabulous’, ‘an icon’ and ‘down-to-earth’ within the space of one sentence[/caption]

“I’m not allowed.”

Not even the kick balls bit?

Shame. He needs someone to calm him down.

Although, as horrendous as it must be to live with, I don’t mind Barrowman on I’m A Celeb, as the show does need a massive irritant to get under everyone’s skin.

On similar grounds, I also welcome EastEnders’ Rita Simons, who looks like she might have a tantrum or two in her, Nick Knowles, who will be incapable of stifling his Sir Galahad complex, and Harry Redknapp, just because he’s Harry Redknapp.

Of the others?

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I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! launched on Sunday, November 18 and airs nightly at 9pm[/caption]

The public jury’s probably still out on Emily Atack and The Chase Governess Anne Hegerty, who “used to be a Brownie”, as well as eating a lot of them.

Mentally, though, I have already completely written off Coronation Street’s Sair Khan, some bloke off Hollyoaks, The Vamps’ James McVey and X Factor’s Fleur East, who arrived dressed as a dispatch rider for the first episode.

Possibly for the very good reason she’s now working as one.

This might sound like a hasty and fairly damning assessment, I realise, but compared to some series, four solidly promising bookings isn’t actually a bad return.


Noel Edmonds will be joining I’m A Celebrity after the main contestants[/caption]

What it very clearly needs, though, is Edmonds, because, without him, Sunday’s opening episode, for all its high adrenaline thrills, became a bit of a drag.

It usually does, of course, as the celebs haven’t yet let their guard drop.

But, in this instance it meant the spotlight fell on Holly Willoughby, and you quickly realised Dec hasn’t had to work this hard since he tried bouncing jokes off Hogan the Koala.

Just as Edmonds could turn out to be a massive disappointment, Holly Willoughby could get the hang of I’m A Celeb, obviously.

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Holly’s one significant contribution of the night came when she asked ‘how come Shane had a helmet and Emily didn’t?’ after the parachuting challenge[/caption]

At the moment, though, her one significant contribution came after the parachuting challenge when she asked: “How come Shane had a helmet and Emily didn’t?”

’Cos the bloke was doing all the hard work and she was just hanging around.

Buckle up, Dec.

Random TV irritations

The Little Drummer Girl still progressing at “Eamonn Holmes on the third leg of a triathlon” pace.

Alastair Campbell’s far-too-frequent Good Morning Britain appearances always proving as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool.

Strictly stars forever banging on about reaching Blackpool without ever mentioning it means they get paid more.

Every wretched, product-placing second of the entertainment on Friday’s Children In Need.

And particularly EastEnders’ big song-and-dance routine, which had the Disney Company’s Angela Affinita claiming: “We have Letitia Dean actually interacting with Mickey Mouse.”

Good luck with that one, Mickey.

Hell of a birthday Charles’

IF you want to know just how brutally British republicans would mistreat the Royal Family, if they ever came to power, just take a look at what those who claim to love them the most do to the Windsors now.

Stuff like We Are Most Amused And Amazed, a 70th birthday tribute, hosted by Armstrong & Miller, on ITV, that probably left the future King Charles III thinking Charles I got off lightly.


Charles’ 70th birthday tribute was hosted by Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller[/caption]

Two hours of canned laughter and pick-a-card-any-card magical tw*ttery with the likes of Sandi Toksvig, who took 38 seconds to remind us she’s gay, Omid Djalili, who took an entire 48 seconds to remind us he’s Iranian, and Rowan Atkinson, who rather set the evening’s tone by announcing: “As the more perceptive of you will have noticed, this is hell.”

There was a family of German illusionists as well, which I thought was a bit insensitive, given the royal circumstances, plus Sooty & Sweep and a lot of grovelling from randoms, like Cheryl Tweedy and Kylie Minogue.

Presumably because they could both be guaranteed to keep a straight face when describing the birthday boy as “a style icon” and “philanthropist”.

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Rowan Atkinson and Kylie Minogue performed at the Royal Highness’ 70th birthday[/caption]

Then, at the end of it all, dear old Charles shuffled on, waved and thanked everybody.

And he may even have meant every syllable of it as well, given that Alexander Armstrong thrilled the Palladium crowd by deciding not to sing.

Truly, the Royal Family is the most wondrous thing.

Advert of the week

Good Morning Britain, with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, Tuesday, 7:20.

Jenny Eclair: “The last thing any woman needs, during or after the menopause, is a bothersome vagina.”

Tough, you’ve got one for another 80 minutes.

Desperate times at the rugby

MEANWHILE, desperate times call for desperate means at the rugby, as England trail Japan 10-15 and Sir Clive Woodward suggests: “We’ve got to start using our physicality, just outside the rucks, to suck these Japanese guys.”

Laughs without lectures

A WELCOME antidote to all of the lazy, repetitive, biased, hideously self-satisfied and right-on comedy broadcast by the BBC and Channel 4 finally reappeared, on Saturday night.

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, on BBC1, which has to be the most perfectly judged hour of television, all year.


Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on BBC1 is a welcome antidote to all of the lazy, repetitive and biased comedy shows by the BBC and Channel 4[/caption]

A quota-free joy that’s warm, funny and has mainstream appeal, without ever being too cloying, safe, predictable or slick, as you will have noticed when Lionel Blair completely sabotaged the “Unexpected Star” reveal, in a pop-up Zimmer frame shop, with 91-year-old David Owen.

“Say hello to David,” McIntyre whispered into his ear-piece.

“Hello David!”

Pause. “How does he know my name’s David?”


Michael McIntyre’s Big Show should be the blueprint for almost everything BBC comedy does[/caption]

Well, quite. Among his other gifts, though, Michael McIntyre, above, has the ability to charm and ad-lib his way out of these situations, which gives his Big Show a seat-of-its-pants feel, despite being one of the most carefully structured formats on television.

As anyone with a brain can see, in fact, it should be the blueprint for almost everything BBC comedy does.

So I can pretty much guarantee, this time next year, Have I Got News, The Mash Report and Frankie Boyle’s New World Order will still be telling us how much they hate Brexit and Donald Trump and someone from the BBC, on £208,000 a year, will be assuring licence-payers: “Sara Pascoe is the future of comedy.”

Great TV lies and delusions of the autumn

This Morning, Rochelle Humes: “I’d like a night out with my best friends where we all dress up as The Spice Girls. Wouldn’t that be fun?” No.

Pointless Celebrities: “Hi, I’m Luisa Omielan and I’m a comedian.” Bless.

And Good Morning Britain, Susanna Reid: “I don’t think the word ambition applies to me. I don’t have any ambition.”


WHO said the following on live TV, last week?

“The colon has been mobilised and we’re very close to the moment the bowel’s coming out.”

A) Nicky Campbell on Channel 5’s Removing The Tumour?

B) Theresa May in Downing Street?

Quiz show mouth-breathers of the week

The Time It Takes, Joe Lycett: “In what year does George Orwell’s 1984 take place?”
Sarah: “Don’t know, pass.”

Joe Lycett: “Measuring the strength of earth-quakes, the Richter scale was invented by Charles who?”
Francine: “Dickens – that’s the only Charles I know.”

The Chase, Bradley Walsh: “Between Newcastle and Gateshead, the King Edward Bridge spans what river?”
Bethan: “The Thames.”

And Joe Lycett: “Nicola Sturgeon, a Scot or a fish?”

Kristy: “A fish.”

TV Gold

MICHAEL McIntyre’s Big Show. Paddy Considine, Jessica Raines and Bel Powley all performing brilliantly in BBC1’s Informer.

Channel 5’s strangely addictive and reassuring live operations series, with Nicky Campbell.

BBC/Neal Street Productions

Paddy Considine, Jessica Raines and Bel Powley are all performing brilliantly in BBC1’s Informer[/caption]

Prime-Minister-in-waiting Johnny Mercer MP breezing through Celebrity Hunted, without dear old Kay Burley to encumber him.

Scotland playing olé football against the mighty Albania.

And the politically incorrect brilliance of the response Chase contestant Bethan gave to Bradley Walsh’s question: “The name of what German ­company comes from the name of founder Adolf Dassler?”


Great Sporting Insights

Compiled by Graham Wray

Gary Neville: “Lingard has his hands in his head.”

Michael Dawson: “It’s an unexpected start for Spurs because they didn’t expect that.”

Trevor Bayliss: “We’ve come to Sri Lanka to play in conditions which are foreign to us.”

And Paul Merson: “A poor finish from Vardy, but that’s him at his best.”


This week’s winner is Holly Willoughby and Susan Murphy from Monsters Vs Aliens
  • Emailed in by Kaz. Picture research: Amy Reading

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