By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! is set for a dramatic launch on Sunday as it returns to the Australian jungle with a high-profile line-up of contestants including former health secretary Matt Hancock.
The upcoming series of the hit ITV show has already made headlines after it was confirmed Hancock would be joining the likes of rugby player Mike Tindall, pop star Boy George and former Love Island contestant Olivia Attwood in the new batch of famous faces.
Following his decision to join the reality show, the MP for West Suffolk had the Tory whip suspended and came under fire from across the political divide after opting to join the show at a time when Parliament is sitting.
Hancock is not expected to enter the jungle with the initial group of 10 contestants when the show launches on Sunday at 9pm.
Responding to criticism, he previously told The Sun he wants to use the “incredible platform” on the show to raise awareness of dyslexia and insisted it “wasn’t the cheque” that made him decide to join the programme.
This will be the first series filmed in the Australian jungle since 2019 as the past two years were shot at Gwrych Castle in North Wales due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
To mark its grand return, the show has said it is opening with “one of the largest and most elaborate entrances to the jungle camp to date”.
The opening episode will see this year’s campmates balance on a ledge hundreds of feet in the air, skydive into the jungle and complete a challenge involving creepy critters.
We’re BACK down under with a host of brand new celebrities, ready to face the terrifying trials and tribulations of the jungle 🦘😱#ImACeleb returns this Sunday at 9pm on ITV, STV and ITV Hub. @antanddec pic.twitter.com/yf8LnMRWnc
— I'm A Celebrity... (@imacelebrity) October 31, 2022
Kicking off the series in style, five contestants – Attwood, radio DJ Chris Moyles, Loose Women star Charlene White, comedian Babatunde Aleshe and former England footballer Jill Scott – will arrive by a luxury car at a waterside villa in the Gold Coast.
Meanwhile, arriving one-by-one by boat to a marina will be Boy George, Tindall, Coronation Street’s Sue Cleaver, TV presenter and property expert Scarlette Douglas and Hollyoaks’ Owen Warner.
After the arrival of hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly at each location, the celebrities learn that the public has been voting to name “Jungle VIPs” and who they want to see have the toughest journey into camp and face the first trial.
The contestants will then face their first trials of the series, with Scott, White and Aleshe challenged with the show’s new version of the infamous plank.
This time the campmates will attempt to walk to the edge of the plank 334ft in the air and once all are in position, they must take a step forward onto the ledge so they are leaning forward and facing the extreme drop to the ground.
They must hold the position for a minute and then release their supporting rope which will send them plunging from the ledge in order to each win a coveted star.
— I'm A Celebrity... (@imacelebrity) November 5, 2022
Elsewhere, Attwood and Moyles will face the ultimate leap of faith as they are tasked with jumping out of a plane.
The remaining campmates – Tindall, Cleaver and Warner – will be put to the test on the “Critter Cruise” where they must each try and secure a star from a boat’s mast by completing a challenge.
Among the obstacles to unlocking the stars is a code which Tindall must break and a “hell hole” of critters where Cleaver must search for fish eyes.
Meanwhile, Cleaver will have to remove bolts from a blocked pipe while battling bugs and grime.
The show has already faced its own trials in the form of disruptive weather as last month the Australian set had to be closed for 24 hours as a “precautionary measure” following reports of severe flooding in the area.
The Geordie duo of McPartlin and Donnelly have hosted the popular reality show since its launch in 2002, though McPartlin was temporarily replaced by Holly Willoughby in 2018.
The show’s 2021 series was won by Emmerdale actor Danny Miller.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! returns on Sunday November 6th at 9pm on ITV and ITV Hub.