The 19th “I’m A Celebrity” reality show starts this Sunday, with ten new contestants drawn from the worlds of showbiz and sport being jettisoned into their camp in the Australian outback with the aim of being chosen by the voting public to be the King or Queen of the Jungle. Co-presenter Declan Donnelly returns to the show after missing the 2018 season, and tells us “we’re very excited as it’s one of the best casts ever”.
And it is an interesting mix of people in terms of personality, profession, age and even gender. Football pundit, Ian Wright MBE, is the early leader in the betting stakes with Bet365 offering odds of 5/2 that he will be King of the Jungle. His good mate and the 2018 winner of the show, Harry Redknapp, says “Keep calm, Wrighty” as the 56-year-old former Arsenal star reportedly has a short fuse…certainly, the Bushtucker Trials and the relentless on-off boredom of camp will punish those with a quick temper.
Roman Kemp is half Ian’s age and his youthful energy may hold him in good stead with the physically punishing nature of some of the Trials. The Capital Radio DJ is second favourite at this early stage, with odds of 6/1 from SkyBet. 34-year-old James Haskell is not far behind, with BetFred offering odds of 13/2 that the former England rugby star will sport the fetching King of the Jungle wreath at the end of the show in December.
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The oldest camp member is Caitlin Jenner, 70, American celebrity and former Olympic gold-medal winner. Caitlin previously competed on the American version of the show as Bruce Jenner, way back in 2003 prior her transitioning. She claims the role of peacemaker at the camp and sees the show as a means for “cleansing of the soul”. Bookmaker SkyBet offers odds of 9/1 that Caitlin will win the show.
Betting odds for actress Jacqueline Jossa, 27, formerly of Eastenders are 10/1 from William Hill, reflecting the massive audience for the soap. Former Girls Aloud star, Nadine Coyle, 34, may find life in the jungle a real challenge, saying “ I am scared of so many things. I really want to try something completely new. I used to be brave”. If Nadine can conquer her fears, then the Irish singer may be in with a shout. Bookmaker Betway offers odds of 14/1 that she will be crowned Queen of the Jungle.
The final contestants are considered outsiders by the bookies. They include comedian Andrew Maxwell, 44 (16/1 from Paddy Power), TV and radio presenter Kate Garraway, 52 16/1 from Coral), Rak-Su singer Myles Stephenson, 28 (18/1 from Bet365), and Adele Roberts, 40 who is a Radio One DJ (25/1 from Betway).