By Owen Tonks and Amelia Wynne For Mailonline
18:45 22 Apr 2023, updated 18:45 22 Apr 2023
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! star Carol Vorderman has told how she once fell in love in South Africa, where the upcoming new series of the show was filmed.
The television presenter, 62, is one of a number of stars who previously appeared on the ITV jungle reality show, who are returning for a spin-off version of the series.
Having done her first run in Australia, Carol jetted out to South Africa last year to film the new pre-recorded series in Kruger National Park.
Ahead of the show’s start on Monday, Carol has fondly recalled falling head over heels when she was in the country for work a a teenager.
She told The Sun’s TV Mag: ‘I went there when I was 19. I met the first love of my life Andy when I was working on an engineering construction site – his next job was in Botswana and I flew over.
‘We visited South Africa and there were giraffes running around, and I swam with great white sharks.’
And it was Carol’s meeting Andy that set her on the path to a finding fame as a successful television star, as he was instrumental to the next move she made in her life.
She went on to explain how when she returned to the UK she was going through some difficulties as her mother was ‘homeless’ and living in student accommodation, while Carol was ‘more or less living out of my car’.
‘After about a year I said to her: “Mum, this can’t go on, we can afford a place in Leeds.” I got the company I was working for to give me a transfer, I found us this house and we moved in,’ she said.
‘Three weeks later Mum was reading this article in the local paper about how Yorkshire Television in Leeds was starting this show called Countdown on this new channel called Channel 4.
‘They had this numbers game but couldn’t find anyone who could do it – so my mum wrote a letter, put my graduation photo in, forged my signature and sent it to Yorkshire Television!’
She said if she hadn’t gone out with ‘first love’ Andy, she would not have moved to Yorkshire and would not have applied for Countdown, admitting her life would have been ‘very different’.
Excited viewers anticipating the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here South Africa series have been given their first look at the camp in the Kruger National Park.
The All Stars season will see famous faces such as Carol Vorderman, Helen Flanagan and Shaun Ryder return to The Jungle on April 24.
And the celebrities who are used to a lavish lifestyle may be in for quite a shock as they take their first look around the camp on the Ant and Dec hosted show.
Their very basic camp has nothing more than a few wooden benches around a fire, some uncomfortable-looking camp beds and hammocks and an outdoor shower.
Other features of the set up – which is six times bigger than the Australia one – include a chores board with activities such as cooking and wood collecting to be designated out.
In this camp instead of the water for washing tumbling over a natural cliff, it will fall from a shower head suspended from a tree.
The entrance to the camp also features a leafy walkway down to a covered tree archway into the camp.
The beds are raised up off the ground with wooden stilts to protect the stars from keen creepy crawlies but offer no plush mattress.
A source told The Sun of the new camp: ‘Everything is bigger, scarier and bolder. If the celebrities think they know what to expect then they are wrong.
‘The only thing that they can count on is the diet of rice and beans!’
The publication reports that the celebrities will be stranded in isolation, surrounded by wild animals around five miles away from the nearest road and 40 minutes drive from a village.
Last week the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! All Stars start date was confirmed.
It will begin on Monday 24 April and air for three weeks on weekdays, with the final week clashing with the Eurovision semi-finals on Tuesday May 9 and Thursday 11.
Posting on Twitter the ITV Press Centre wrote: ‘Confirmed: I’m A Celebrity…South Africa starts Monday 24 April at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.’
A host of stars featuring in the series have so far been revealed, including boxer Amir Khan, 36, former Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan, 32, and television presenter Carol Vorderman, 62.
They will be joined by the late Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell, 64, Diversity dancer Jordan Banjo, 30, Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder, 60, retired javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread, 62, and former English international cricketer Phil Tufnell, 56.
The Sun reports Gillian McKeith, 63, Dean Gaffney, 45, Joe Swash, 41, Andy Whyment, 42, Myleene Klass, 45, and Georgia Toffolo, 28, will be arriving in camp later on in the series.
The new series sees the return of some of the most memorable campmates from I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in the brand new setting of South Africa.
The challenges will be bigger and tougher and the environment harsher and more unforgiving than the usual Australian jungle.
With no public vote, they will be competing against each other in a battle to become the first ever I’m A Celebrity Legend.
Ant said: ‘It’s a question we always get asked…who would you bring back to the jungle? So to get this opportunity to make a brand new show in South Africa and put some of our previous campmates through their paces again was the dream.’
Dec added: ‘It’s bigger and wilder than we could have hoped for so viewers are in for a real treat!’
Viewers will see a group of 15 soap stars, reality TV personalities and sporting icons enter the camp.
A source previously told The Sun: ‘It’s a different format to Australia, who knows when and where celebrities will enter camp, literally anything could happen.
‘It’s not clear how many will start in camp or how many will be there by the end when one is crowned King or Queen of the jungle, possibly for a second time.
‘It’s the best of I’m A Celebrity, quite literally, but there’s some twists and surprises along the way for viewers and campers so it’s not going to be as straightforward as they might think.’