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Reality TV Interview

Colin Baker 'I'm a Celeb' interview: We felt sorry for Helen Flanagan

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I'm A Celebrity 2012: Colin Baker

© ITV


After 16 days in the celebrity camp, former Doctor Who star Colin Baker was the fifth celebrity to be evicted from I'm A Celebrity on Sunday night (November 25).

The 69-year-old actor openly admitted his entry into the jungle was a bid to lose weight - but how much did he lose? And how are the other contestants coping? We catch up with the actor poolside at the plush Palazzo Versace to find out.

How much weight did you lose in the jungle?
"I'm very happy to tell you I lost just over 12 kilos on the jungle diet, but I didn't beat Biggins. I gather Biggins lost 15 kilos, but he was in the jungle until the end. I'm extremely pleased, but I'm ashamed that I needed to lose 12 kilos - and my shame is now public. I haven't done the sums yet, but I gather that's about two stone. That's fantastic. You can only imagine what I looked like before!"

How do you feel?
"I can move better and I can now begin to do the exercise I should've been doing a long time ago. When did I notice the weight loss? When the others started to tell me I'd lost weight. When the stand-up cutouts came into the jungle, most people noticed it. They said I looked 15 years younger. Well, I must've looked 90 before!"

Has everyone else lost weight?
"Nobody can fail to lose weight in the jungle, unless they've got a secret stash of pork pies somewhere. However, the problem for David is that he's losing muscle - and he's got a big fight in April. One of the messages he's asked me to pass on to his parents is, 'Don't worry about me. I will get the muscle back'. The hours he has to spend in the gym to get that muscle back is going to take forever. You can put fat back by food, but not muscle. He's going to have to carb himself heavily and work very hard."

What do you think of Helen?
"Helen is an individual, sweet little girl who sometimes has a grasp of what's going on that isn't the same as the rest of us. We think it's fantastic that she got down to the trials at all. Every time Helen came back, we felt sorry for her before we felt sorry for ourselves. Every time her name was read out, we were disappointed - but not because we thought we weren't going to get any food. Instead, we thought it was evidence of people picking on her. It was like kicking a puppy - except it enabled her to make a journey, which ended up with those 12 stars. It was worth all that missed food to see that girl blossom and grow. She's gained huge confidence from this."

I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here 2012: Colin Baker

© ITV



Nadine thought Helen was acting in the jungle. Do you agree?
"If Helen was acting in there, she's a very clever actress - but she isn't. She's a very good actress, but you can't act in there. You can't sustain it. Everyone's personality has stayed the same. If anyone is acting, I take my hat off to them."

What was your lowest point in the jungle?
"My lowest point went in waves. After the first two or three days, I contemplated the implications of saying, 'I can't do this. I'm too old for this.' I was surprised by the energy I lacked and by the strength I lacked. I am a big man, but I've allowed my condition to deteriorate by being overweight. The food deprivation and the sleep deprivation trigger emotions without you noticing it. Emotions are very close to the surface in there."

Did you discuss your thoughts about quitting the show with anyone in the jungle?

"I said to Nadine, 'I'm not sure how much of this I can cope with'. Early on, she got me through. Nadine was a revelation. Her little acts of kindness were amazing. She hauled me through that first romp in the jungle. She was encouraging and positive. When I was feeling low, she always supported me. The other person who supported me was Eric. He was also fantastic."

Colin Baker, Jungle Run challenge as part of Team Snake Rock

© Rex Features / ITV/Rex Features



Reality shows often hit the headlines because people blurt out things they shouldn't say. Did anyone get told off in the jungle?
"Rosemary tells everybody off for swearing. I know the rest of humanity has moved into a phase where all those words are acceptable to a lot of people, but they are not to me. I wouldn't tell anyone else that, though. Who is the worst swearer? The lads. The boys. David and Eric, plus Hugo to a lesser extent. That's their world. I'm not going to condemn it, but I like a world where I think Noel Coward is more entertaining than a lot of modern language - but then I am an old prude."

What wildlife did you see in the jungle?
"We had one snake in camp the other night. It was extraordinary. I sat in my hammock and I said to Hugo, 'We haven't seen one snake in here'. He said to me, 'Don't say that'. And within two minutes, David came down the path from the dunny and said, 'There's a snake here'."

What sort of snake was it?
"It was a carpet python that slid across the path and disappeared in the undergrowth beneath Eric's hammock. We were told there was security all around us, but suddenly a bush stood up and it turned out to be a security man in camouflage. He was like a yeti, or the Predator from that movie. He got his fellow mate, who was a bush around the corner, to come with a stick and grab the snake. It was six feet long!"

What other medical emergencies were there?
"I twisted my ankle at one point, but Dr Bob had a look at it and said I was alright. I had a tick removed from behind my ear. That's still sore, but it happened a week ago. I also had a leech when I came out of the river as well."

Did any shocking revelations come out around the campfire?
"Amazing revelations that shocked me? Like, David Haye having crochet as a hobby? Well, he doesn't - but I'm trying to think of something like that for you. Unfortunately, there were none."

Who surprised you the most in the jungle?
"Nadine surprised me a lot. David Haye surprised me a lot. People make a lot of assumptions and judgements. I made a judgement that a boxer wasn't going to be hugely bright - but he is. If he ended up being the Frank Warren or the man who runs boxing 20 years from now, I wouldn't be I because he's got a cool, sharp head on his shoulders."

David Haye for ' Malaria No More UK'
I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here 2012: Ashley Roberts

© ITV



What do you think of Ashley?
"Ashley is another huge surprise. If I lived in America, I'd be really happy if she lived next door to me because she's a lovely girl. I thought popstars might be divas, but she's not. She's down to earth, she's funny and she's caring. She doesn't force herself on anyone, but she doesn't back out. She did her challenges with great gusto, but she's only a little slip of a thing. She doesn't have any weight to lose. She's fading away in front of our eyes."

I'm a Celebrity continues all this week on ITV1.

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