From keeping a straight face while Stanley Johnson flirts with Made In Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo to surviving those famously meagre rice and beans rations, there will be plenty of challenges for this year’s I’m A Celebrity camp-mates.
But it seems the weather isn’t one of them. For while viewers of last night’s opening episode will have seen the celebrities complaining about the rain, what they won’t have seen is the retractable canvas canopy which protects them from the elements when producers deem the conditions to be bad enough.
Add that to fake logs, a waterfall that can be switched on and off and a fast-food van just metres away, and it seems the jungle may not be quite as much of an isolated wilderness as TV executives would have you believe.
ALISON BOSHOFF reveals the weird, wonderful and not-so-wild secrets of the show…
WATERFALL THAT’S FITTED WITH AN OFF SWITCH
It makes frequent appearances in the show thanks to bikini-clad lovelies jumping into it — but although it’s made to look like part of the landscape, the famous jungle waterfall is anything but natural. Not only is it man-made, it’s actually switched off between 3pm and 6pm every day to conserve water. And the lagoon below it? Yes, that’s man-made, too.
Made in Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo showers in the waterfall – which has it’s very own ‘off’ switch
A show source explains that some features have been created ‘because they don’t naturally occur where one would like them to’.
Meanwhile, a large roll-top bath, which is big enough for two, has been added to the camp this year — not the sort of facility one would usually find in the wilderness.
FIREWOOD THAT’S CHOPPED AND ALL READY TO LIGHT
On screen, you’re led to believe that keeping the fire going is a chore. In fact, one of the main tasks of the day — which can take camp-mates most of a morning — is collecting wood for the fire. But while the show’s celebrities might like to see themselves as hunter-gatherers, the wood has been dried and chopped up in advance, then strewn over a wide area by TV crews so the stars can be sent to find it.
Sources close to the show explain that they can’t allow the celebrities to be let loose with an axe, and also need to protect the fauna and forest habitat from ignoramus campers.
Keeping the fire alight is the responsibility of the camp-mates, and the crew are explicitly told not to feed the fire. But, of course, it’s just that little bit easier with wood that’s already been dried and prepared for them.
SECRET SHELTER FROM THE ELEMENTS
Last night’s opening episode showed it has been a rainy weekend in the jungle — and the forecast is for more rain.
But while the contestants grumbled about the damp, they didn’t mention that there’s a retractable canvas canopy covering the fire and an area of the main camp.
It has been decided that it would be unsafe to leave the celebrities in a rainy jungle without any shelter at all, not to mention make for bad TV.
But a source insisted: ‘A lot of the camp is not under shelter — it’s not like the roof at Wimbledon!’
Dennis Wise parachutes into the jungle, which has a shelter along with fake logs and rocks