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Reality TV Interview

Jenny Eclair ('I'm A Celebrity')

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I'm A Celebrity profile - Jenny Eclair

© ITV

Comedienne and novelist Jenny Eclair lasted 16 days on I'm A Celebrity, losing out only to eventual winner Stacey Solomon and runner-up Shaun Ryder in the semi-final. We caught up with the star to chat about her jungle experience.

How are you feeling, Jenny?
"I’m slightly dazed and a little bit confused. Leaving the jungle is like having jet lag all over again. The whole thing has been a mad blur. I was flown to Australia at the very last minute, so I had no time to go and wax bikini lines or anything like that. The only thing I had done was a fake tan in my hotel room – and for the first time in my life I was put in a paper thong. I only expected to be in the jungle for five days. I thought I’d get out before the tan got scabby. I ended up looking like a dog with the mange."

Did you ever come close to quitting the show?
"There were definitely some low moments in the jungle, but you just have to get on with things. To be honest, most of the low moments were to do with the weather making things tougher. They might as well have filmed the whole thing in Wales. I know valleys in Wales that are just as damp as that jungle. There were points where I thought, ‘I’ve now got fungus in my creases'. Not only did I have trench foot, but I had trench body. I was starting to rot from the foot up."

Apart from the weather, what was the toughest aspect of jungle life?
"There were no creature comforts in the jungle and everything got damp. The swag bags worked up to a point, but even they got wet and soggy. It was like being at the longest Glastonbury ever with just one dunny for 13 people. It would’ve been nice to have had a boy’s dunny and a girl’s dunny. There were several people – whose names shall remain anonymous – that did not put lavatory seats down."

Talking of poo… Can we chat about Poo-Gate in the camp. Gillian suggested you were the culprit…
"Dunny-Gate? It might’ve been me, but I thought I was out of camp. Is Gillian trying to get back at me or something? I was sent away on a trial, but by the time I came back, Dunny-Gate was going on. I don’t think it was me, but there were all sorts of ‘Gates’ going on. There was Dunny-Gate and Spoon-Gate. Every day there was a new ‘Gate’ that everyone was worried about."

What about Gillian’s Faint-Gate?
"Faint-Gate was great. It was a fabulous swoon. It was a marvellous Victorian fainting lady swoon. Whether it was faked or not, I have no idea."

Are you looking forward to seeing Gillian again?
"Gillian and I are very different women, but that doesn’t mean to say we can’t be chummy. Nobody wants bad feeling in the Versace hotel. We don’t want to be thrown out, so let’s make friends and make the most of the lovely hotel. I’ve only got a night here and I don’t want to muck it up."

And then you’ll never talk again?
"I don’t know whether our paths will cross again. She’s vegan, so we don’t eat at the same restaurants. (Pauses) Listen, Gillian is fine. She had a really tough time in the jungle. Nobody can underestimate the trauma of doing all those trials. She had a lot, all one after the other, and I think that’s enough to send anybody overboard. Once you’ve done three on the trot, you’re pysched up to such a fever pitch that anything is going to push you over the edge."

What was your toughest Bushtucker Trial?
"My toughest Bushtucker Trial was the first eating trial. The first drink was the turkey gizzard and I’m still having flashbacks. That was tough, although I did enjoy the ant croissant. I will always recommend a croissant soaked in vomit fruit and covered in citrus-bottomed ants. It was a taste sensation."

After you were evicted from the jungle, your long-term partner mentioned on ITV2 that it was time you two got married…
"And he then proceeded not to mention anything else because I would’ve thrown him over the bridge. I’m not going to rock that boat. We are happy and there seems no need for marriage. I’d make such a rubbish bride."

Can’t we have a jungle wedding?
"A joint one where everybody with a potential partner decides to tie the knot? No. If Geoff and I do get married, it will be very secretive and probably on his death bed so that I get out of paying taxes."

If you could do the show again, would you jump back in the jungle?
"Don’t be mental. Once is enough. I wouldn’t do it again. Never go back. Next year, I shall be far too busy to go back into the jungle. I will be touring the UK with my new show instead."

Will we see you pop up on any other reality shows?
"I can’t dance and I can’t cook, so that rules out a number of them. I’ve got no balance either, so I won’t be doing the ice one. The hips aren’t what they used to be, but they’re not ready for replacement yet."

You don’t have to be able to dance to do Strictly.
"I think that you need to be able to know your left from your right on something like Strictly. But to be honest, I don’t think you should do more than one reality show a decade. That line is going to come back to haunt me, isn’t it?"

What was your happiest moment in the camp?
"Pretending to argue with Dom was my happiest moment. I loved that. I also loved learning capital cities with Dom in the jungle. I also loved sticking bugs by wax onto my bed’s headrest. I have a little art installation at the end of my bed, which people obviously thought was a little too dark for national television. It was a piece of wood with cascading twigs coming off it. I stuck bugs to it with wax."

Live bugs?
"No, dead bugs I found floating in candles. I will not be prosecuted by the RSPCA. I was installing dead bugs as a piece of art."

What was your lowest moment in the camp?
"My lowest moment was a culmination of a damp sleeping bag, savaged pants and bootlaces that smelled of s**t. When Kayla and I had to do the crocodile challenge, the banks of that pool were smeared in horses**t. It was almost unnecessary. We came back into camp and it was like being a social pariah. It was like being the girl at school who smelled of Spam. Nobody wanted to sit next to us for 24 hours. It was really, really rank."

What will you say to your celebrity friends who might be considering the show next year?
"I would say, ‘Check the weather forecast!’"

Is it a good experience to go through?
"I think it depends on how mentally stable you are. If you’re the type of person to get easily pushed over the edge, you could end up pushed over the edge. It wasn’t a walk in the park. It was far tougher than I thought it would be."

What are you looking forward to doing now that you’re free?
"I’m looking forward to driving my car wherever I want. I’m looking forward to going to a supermarket and choosing whatever I want for my tea. I’m looking forward to a little bit of telly, books on tap, phoning my mates and swimming in a nice, clean chlorinating pool. I’m looking forward to all that and more."

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