The ever popular reality TV show is back, with a new group of contestants ready to take on a variety of challenges in a bid to be crowned the King or Queen of the Jungle. As ever, it’s an eclectic mix of pop stars, soap stars, sports people, and TV personalities, and it’s already started with a bang as TOWIE’s Gemma Collins quit the show after just a few days.
Jimmy Bullard – +250 with Bwin
Jimmy is a recently retired professional footballer, who spent time in the Premier League with the likes of Hull and Fulham. He is well-known in football circles for being a prankster and a joker, and will bring his ‘Cheeky East End Chappy’ style of humour to the jungle. He has been installed as the early favourite to win the programme and has already shown his willingness to get stuck in, by taking on one of the infamous jungle challenges.
Melanie Sykes – +275 with Skybet
The glamorous TV presenter has already had her odds slashed from 6/1 after apparently impressing viewers with her ‘no-nonsense’ attitude. She’s liable to receive a good level of support from the daytime TV crowd, but has admitted she may struggle with the challenges and will miss her children for the duration of the show.
Craig Charles – +500 with Coral
Red Dwarf and, more recently, Coronation Street star Craig Charles is next in the betting. Upon entering the jungle he was immediately confined to the jungle slammer with three of the female contestants, and showed a great deal of patience when dealing with Gemma Collins. He has come across well in the early stages, and looks like nothing will ruffle him. Good chance.
Tinchy Stryder – +1000 with BetVictor
The diminutive rapper has admitted he’s a ‘City Boy’ and has never camped in his life, but says he is up for challenging himself. Has already taken on one of the bushtucker trials, and looks like he is prepared to stay for the duration. A popular figure in the music world, he is not averse to stepping out if his comfort zone after recording a charity single with the Chuckle Brother’s. Could gain popularity as the show progresses.
Carl Foggerty – +1400 with Bwin
Before entering the jungle, the World Superbike legend admitted that he doesn’t like other people’s company, gets bored easily, and can’t cope without food! These are not the ideal qualities when entering I’m a Celebrity, but he has already made an impression after whipping up a camp fire in no time on the first day, and coping with being ‘buried alive’ with dozens of snakes in one of the trials. Hard to see him quitting, but it may be a matter of time before he explodes in the camp.
Nadia Forde – +2000 with BetVictor
Irish model turned singer and actress, Nadia Forde, has said she is scared of practically everything the jungle is likely to throw at her, but vowed to give it her best shot. She made a good impression quickly in the knitting challenge when she completed 49 rows, in comparison to the paltry 3 that Craig Charles and Gemma Collins managed between them. Won biscuits for the challenge and demonstrated her good nature by trying to give them away to the other contestants.
Michael Buerk – +3300 with Ladbrokes
Surprise contestant Michael Buerk is best-known for forty years of broadcasting on TV and Radio, as a news reader and war reporter. Reality TV is a world away from his typical day-to-day work, and admitted to being unsure who some of his fellow contestants were. A likable ‘elder statesman’ of the camp, he will probably do well enough without actually winning.
Vicki Michelle – +5000 with BetVictor
The former star of classic TV comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo, says at 63, she is carrying the torch for older women. Could turn into the ‘motherly’ figure of the group, but hard to see her winning the whole thing.
Kendra Wilkinson – +5000 with ToteSport
Having previously lived in the Playboy mansion, the American model and reality star has clearly been brought in to add extra glamour to the show. Admits she will struggle with challenges, but seems to be fitting in well with other contestants. Difficult to see the British public getting behind her in the voting though.
There have been thirteen previous series of I’m a Celebrity, dating back to 2002, so can previous winners offer any clues to the type of person likely to take the crown this year?
Nine of the previous thirteen winners have been male, with only Kerry Katona (series three), Carol Thatcher (five), Stacey Solomon (ten), and Charlie Brooks (twelve) bucking the trend.
Six of the last eight winners have come from a soap or pop background, with Christopher Biggins and Gino D’Acampo the two exceptions.
Several bookies are offering 1/5th of the odds for a top three place and with that in mind we’re backing two of the contestants at larger odds. Nadia Forde may have a better chance than the price of +2000 suggests. She is likely to receive a level of support from the voters in her home country, she has already shown that she is prepared to get stuck in, and doesn’t appear to be the type to break down in tears over a broken nail. She released her first single recently and is due to release an album in January, so fits the profile for a soap or pop star. Perhaps the only thing going against her is that more men than women have won, but it’s worth pointing out that two of the female winners have been in the last four series.
Our other prediction is Tinchy Stryder who appears to have the laid-back personality required to survive the jungle experience, and also has a background in the music scene. He’s likely to be popular with the younger demographic of viewers, many of whom probably haven’t heard of the likes of Michael Buerk and Vicki Michelle.
Nadia Forde to be Queen of the Jungle – Each Way – +2000 with BetVictor
Tinchy Stryder to be King of the Jungle – Each Way – +1000 with BetVictor
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