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Reality TV Interview

Charlotte Jackson interview: '71 Degrees North', Andy Gray, reindeer

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71 Degrees North S02: Host Charlotte Jackson

© ITV

Charlotte Jackson and Paddy McGuinness have been freezing their behinds off to provide us all with some serious celebrity torture on 71 Degrees North over the past month. Hosting a rag-tag bunch of famous faces (Rav Wilding, Sean Maguire) as they trek across Norway for the 71 Degrees North reality TV crown, the pair have provided light relief among the celeb squabbles, frostbite and intense competition.

Digital Spy caught up with Charlotte to find out whether she enjoyed her trip to Norway and also got her opinions on the Andy Gray Sky Sports firing that she was involved with earlier this year.

I know it was filmed a long while ago, but do you never want to see snow again?
"It is funny because it does feel like ages ago. The thing is that I actually didn't mind the cold. They gave us such amazing kit to wear, so many layers, so me and Paddy were never really cold.

"Occasionally me and Paddy would do a long bit of filming and our faces would be freezing. We'd be trying to do links, but couldn't open our mouths because our teeth were too cold! So it was nice to be back in the sunshine, but I'd go back out there in a shot."

I bet the celebrities hated you and Paddy by the end of the series...
"Yup, we turn up, nicely showered and nicely fed. Ha! No, we always knew it would be a bad idea to turn up and complain, 'Ooh, it's a bit cold'.

"I don't think it would have been appreciated by the guys camping out if we rolled up from our hotel and started moaning. 'It's been a bit nippy out'... There were a few jokes made about us. They were so hungry, they sometimes hadn't slept at all in the storms, but they took it all in good humour."

Did you two get VIP Arctic treatment?
"It wasn't luxurious hotels, because we're in the Arctic. They were just nice warm hotels. I think anywhere with a warm bed is considered luxury in the Arctic. We had great catering... we never went hungry, let's put it like that. We actually even had a gym in the first few places, which was useful.

"People kept saying, 'you'll lose loads of weight in the Arctic'. But we weren't camping out, so we didn't at all. We just ate loads. I was giving Paddy circuit training in the basement of a hotel. That was Paddy's only exercise."

71 Degrees North S02: Host Paddy Mcguinness
Were you and Paddy never tempted to try a challenge?
"There was one we really wanted to do. The problem of course was safety. Me and Paddy were desperate to do that one, but all the filming was up the mountain and we needed to get all the health and safety approval.

"By the time the celebs finished, it was starting to get dark. Paddy was at the bottom and I was at the start line, but I wasn't allowed to have a go. Reindeer racing was another one that I wanted to do. I went off the idea through when they served us up reindeer for tea."

Did you not tuck in?
"I'm not a fussy eater, but that was the one thing I turned my nose up at. I wasn't going to eat poor old Rudolph."

Which celebrity gave you the most laughs?
"Sean Maguire, drama wise, was very, very good to watch. Angellica [Bell] was great and we got see a lot of her throughout the programme. John Barnes was very, very funny though. When he elbowed Angellica to win the toboggan race was very funny. And when Richard Arnold got one over John Barnes as well, that was a beautiful moment. I don't think anyone thought Richard Arnold would win a physical contest with John Barnes!"

Are you a fan of Paddy's other show Take Me Out?
"Yeah, I love Take Me Out. The amount of people that go around shouting, 'No likey, no lighty' at him is hilarious. He gets annoyed, but I was like, 'You've got to expect it Paddy! It's your catchphrase'.

"One of my friends is a huge fan of that show and is desperate to find a guy on it. I love the party tricks that the guys do on that show. Do they really think it will impress ladies? Because it won't!"

Andy Gray
You were involved in the Andy Gray Sky Sports firing earlier this year. Were you surprised by the amount of controversy that caused?
"For me it was a bit of a surprise to be involved at all. I didn't even know it was happening at the time and hadn't heard anything during the incident. 'Why have I got caught up in all of this?' That's how I felt."

Were you pleased with the final outcome?
"The outcome was nothing to do with me... the whole situation was nothing to do with me. If I have a problem with someone or someone insults me, I would confront them and ask them to apologise. I just thought at the time, 'I'm involved with something, I've got nothing to do with'."

Do you think it has damaged Sky's reputation?
"There are so many people who work on Sky, especially behind-the-scenes. At the time, people were saying, 'Oh, do not many girls work at Sky?' If you came to our studio and offices, there are girls everywhere. There's girls in the gallery, girls on the newsdesk, girls in the offices. It is amazing what Sky has done with all their sports coverage and it would be a shame if people forgot about that."

What's your opinion on Andy?
"I've literally met him twice briefly and that was for a different show entirely. We were filming a Christmas special for a quiz show. I did the Champions League with Richard [Keys] and never had a problem there. Like I say, I was very much caught up in a problem that I was nothing to do with and didn't really understand."

71 Degrees North continues on Tuesday nights at 9pm on ITV

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