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First contestant leaves I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

·4 min read

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Arlene Phillips has become the first contestant to be eliminated from I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

Dame Arlene, who at 78 was the oldest ever contestant to take part in the ITV series, left the campsite at Gwrych Castle in North Wales after receiving the fewest public votes on Sunday night.

The ITV show has been on air since November 21 and has had an eventful few weeks with intruders removed on two separate occasions and the celebrity contestants evacuated from camp for a few days as a precaution after Storm Arwen caused damage to the production.

This series has also seen TV presenter Richard Madeley have to exit the show early after he was taken to hospital as a precaution when he fell ill – and having broken the Covid bubble was not able to return to the show.

The show’s presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly arrived in camp to announce the news.

Speaking after leaving camp, Dame Arlene said she was “in a way relieved”.

She added: “You know, I want to see my family, but (I’m) emotional because of everything this has been, the highs and the lows, it’s been something in my life that I never imagined doing and it’s been extraordinary”.

The professional dancer said it was “much harder” than she had anticipated it being, and explained: “I’d psyched myself up, I was so prepared for it… I’d focused on why I was doing this and what I want to achieve and get out of it you know for my granddaughter, to try to show I was fearless but it is hard.”

She cited her friend from the camp, musician Naughty Boy, as the person she wants to win.

Elsewhere in the episode, Naughty Boy and Olympian Matty Lee took part in the Las Vegas-themed trial called Gross Vegas.

The trial, Naughty Boy’s seventh so far, was described by Donnelly as: “The not-so-fabulous Las Vegas has come to the Castle. You two need to work your way through four Las Vegas-themed games, winning stars as you go.”

The duo had to battle eating turkey testicles, get covered in castle critters, fish around among snakes and also get covered in fish guts, offal and gunge to catch a large coin as it dropped from above them.

Finishing the trial, Naughty Boy lamented: “I washed my boxers and now look.”

The duo earned a total of six out of a possible 11 stars for their campmates.

Lee, who won the men’s 10-metre synchro gold with teammate Tom Daley in Tokyo, said: “It’s good, it’s more than we did yesterday.”

The campmates feasted on hare thanks to the stars and prior to the eviction, all shared stories about their time in camp.

Coronation Street stalwart Simon Gregson, known for playing Steve McDonald in the ITV soap, was a late arrival to camp alongside EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt.

Gregson said: “It was so lovely to sit back and watch all the different groups of people get on… you guys just smashing it every day in the kitchen and entertaining us with… your rows… So, it was really, really good. I cannot wait to see you guys again on the outside.”

Paralympian Kadeena Cox, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2014, became emotional as she said: “When I got ill, I felt like I lost control of me. And I lost me.

“You’ve helped me to remember who Kadeena is. I’m not defined by my illness. But the best moments are when I’ve been unwell. And that’s when everyone’s come around me and I felt so loved in those moments. I thank each and every one of you for your part you played in that, thank you.”

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues on ITV.

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