I'm A Celebrity 2015: 8 things we learned after first marathon episode
Are the tasks too easy? Will Chris Eubank and George Shelley be this year's odd couple? And have Ant and Dec still got it? Here are the things we learned from I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
So, there we go, the first (marathon) episode of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! has finished and I'm pleased to report that it showed plenty of potential. It's the same old format, of course, but it works well – even in its 15th series, things still don't feel tired.
The programme always takes a while to settle down and for the real characters of the contestants to emerge but the early signs are that Tony Hadley, Susannah Constantine and Brian Friedman will be good value and that Lady Colin Campbell will be the surprise success story.
Here are the other things we learned from episode one of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
See you tomorrow night at 9pm on UTV.
1) Tony Hadley is Gold
The Spandau Ballet man had a rough ride during the Hellevate challenge, being covered in 30,000 cockroaches and grasshoppers but Tony Hadley looks like he could be a star this series. He took it all very well and enjoyed the larks with Ant and Dec.
The worst thing is when the contestants feel affronted by the humiliation they are being subjected to. Each of them knows exactly what this show is about, which makes it all the more perplexing when people get the hump.
Chris Eubank gave Ant and Dec dry answers, he "zenned out" during the task and offered the following curt advice to Jorgie Porter when she faced the critters in Hellevate: "Take it". Eubank should lighten up.
2) Lady Colin Campbell is great value – but she won't be helping out
Royal biographer Lady Colin Campbell also had a strong first episode.
She was unafraid to send herself up – laughing at the fact she has never been camping – and gave as good as she got when Ant and Dec ribbed her. "You don't want the answer, so don't ask the question," she said when asked how she was feeling after a gruelling time on the riverbank.
You can be sure of one thing, though: Lady Colin Campbell won't be doing anything she doesn't fancy.
During the second task, called Bad Buoys (each team had to pass the buoys along rope to get them to the pontoon), Lady Colin Campbell stood on the shore and shouted her encouragement, rather than getting involved. Something to do with her contact lenses, apparently. That old chestnut (the excuse; not Lady Colin Campbell).
3) Is there a bromance on the cards?
Chris Eubank and Union J's George Shelley appear to have hit it off.
After both headed back to camp (the team that lost each task also lost a team member), Chris was very grateful for George's hug.
It's funny how year after year, unlikely alliances are formed. Last year it was Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie. Not sure Chris would appreciate that particular comparison, however.
4) Have the tasks become boring?
That was all far too easy, surely? The first task the two teams had to take on was called Tree of Torment but it all went rather too well.
There was an old tree trunk, which contained five hollows, each containg the usual shocks: snakes, rats, crabs etc. Inside the trunk was a key on a wire and each contestant had to put their hand in a hole to pass the key along the wire to the next participant.
No-one seemed to have any problems, although lots of people used the odd phrase: "I can feel it breathing on me". If that's the biggest worry for the celebrities, the producers need to start upping the ante. And fast.
Later, the contestants only had to go for a quick dip in the Bad Buoys challenge, while Hellevate, with it's pyrotechnics and raised cages, was all style over substance. Two of the contestants – Lady Colin Campbell and Kieron Dyer – didn't even have any cockroaches to contend with.
Then we heard about the first Bushtucker Trial: Disaster Chef, which Jorgie Porter and Lady Colin Campbell will face. Great name, shame about the task: just eating something slightly unpleasant. What else have you got, producers?
5) No-one has yet had a 'Gemma Collins' moment – could it be Kieron Dyer?
Remember the last series when The Only Way is Essex star Gemma Collins refused to get in a helicopter? Well, this year, the I'm a Celebrity... producers have obviously picked contestants with a bit more steel.
Tony Hadley tells us he "doesn't really have any" fears. So, who's going to have that all-important first moment of doubt? Whisper it quietly, but I think it might be one of Kieron Dyer or Chris Eubank. Eubank particularly has betrayed some weakness, saying he is "just a man" and admitting that he is scared of the "unknown".
Although he did point out that "I've fought Nigel Benn and everything's easy after that". I still reckon the knockout blowing is coming.
6) Have we found our first villain?
The X Factor's choreographer Brian Friedman may just have laid down a marker as the nasty man in camp. While Tony Hadley and Susannah Constantine, the first two to arrive on the show and designated team leaders, attempted to pick their team members, we saw a few clips of Friedman.
Quotes included: "I worry about my bitch coming out" and "Life is a competition and I'm winning". Anyway, Susannah picked him, so good luck to her – and the rest of the camp.
7) Ant and Dec are still making us laugh
Celebrities come and go each year but one thing stays the same: presenters Ant and Dec. It hasn't take long for them to prove their still the best me for the job. "We endeavour to put a smile on your face by wiping the smile off their faces," they said after a couple of good jokes at the expense of Tony Hadley. While this pair are presenting, we'll still be watching. Peerless.
8) Twist and shout in the jungle
No, this isn't a dance, it's a twist to how the game is played.
The camp was split into two and Tony Hadley and Susannah Constantine were the designated team leaders.
Presenters Ant and Dec explained: "You two are now in direct competition with each one another. You'll go head to head in a series of challenges before you reach camp. You won't be doing it alone, you'll do it in teams and right now is your chance to pick those teams."