Home » » Gemma Atkinson acclimatises in her bikini Down Under as Malcolm McLaren dramatically quits I'm a Celebrity

Gemma Atkinson acclimatises in her bikini Down Under as Malcolm McLaren dramatically quits I'm a Celebrity

Luffy | Sunday, November 11, 2007 | 1comments
Gemma Atkinson, the Hollyoaks actress who once dated Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo, made a beeline for the beach as she arrived on 'set' for the start of I'm A Celebrity.

Playing beachball with her minder, she showed off one of the two bikinis she will take into the rainforest for a series of gruelling challenges.

Gemma is one of ten celebrities who will be airlifted in typically dramatic fashion into the jungle camp today to prepare for the show's launch tomorrow. The lads' mag pin-up hopes the show will give viewers a deeper insight into who she really is.
Gemma Atkinson
Gemma Atkinson enjoys a relaxing day on the beach before the gruelling tasks of I'm A Celebrity begin

She said: "In real life I'm not glamorous at all. I'm sitting here now with no make-up, in my tracksuit pants, a vest, and my hair scraped back - this is how I look most of the time at home: like something out of The Royle Family.

"I see the show as a real personal challenge, but I plan to keep my clothes on.

"I'm not going naked, ever. I am single, so I am open to romance - but I would be embarrassed to fall in love in front of millions of viewers."

Meanwhile, ageing punk rocker Malcolm McLaren has dramatically pulled out of the show at the last moment.

The former Sex Pistols manager was ready to board a boat to take him to the six-star Versace Hotel on Australia's Gold Coast to meet the other contestants, but never got on it.

It is the first time someone has walked out before even making it into the jungle.
Gemma Atkinson0
Gemma Atkinson frolics in the surf and proves she's sporting ahead of her jungle experience

An ITV source revealed that McLaren bottled out after his health and safety briefing when he was told that seven of the world's most venomous snakes live near the camp.

"He has a phobia of snakes and is scared of spiders, and was terrified he would fall and break a leg in the slippery conditions," said the source.

"He was also worried about crossing bridges because he is afraid of heights.

At the age of 61, he was intimidated by the physical challenges. He just lost his bottle."

McLaren will forfeit his fee, believed to be £100,000.

Panto star Christopher Biggins is among stand-bys who could take his place.

For the contestants staying put, global warming may provide a welcome bonus.

Australia's worst drought in 100 years has had a devastating effect on edible 3in witchetty grubs, leading to a shortage for the infamous bush-tucker trials.
Malcolm McLaren
Malcolm McLaren is the first celebrity to walk out without making it into the jungle

Special supplies of the Aboriginal delicacy were being flown in from Hobart, Tasmania.

However, the ten celebrities still face some hideous food trials, including the challenge to eat pigs' anuses.

Executive producer Christopher Lore, who has 70 assistants on the show, said last night: "We are going to push the celebrities to the edge of their fear factor of claustrophobia, heights, darkness, very deep water and nasty biting animals.

"There are also new delicacies to eat including one which I won't divulge, except to say that it's live, it flies and I recommend you hold it by the wings and just eat the body."

A celebrity will be buried alive in a grave, complete with a specially commissioned headstone, and someone will be submerged deep in a fake sewer where they will have to crawl through a narrow space running with stinking water and swarming with rats and snakes.

If that isn't bad enough, the jungle jail is back. Last seen two years ago, the bamboo cage - reserved for jungle inmates who cheat or break the rules and which lies in a deserted area more than a mile from the camp --has only a basic camp bed, a blanket and a primitive chamber pot.

Yesterday the stars were savouring their last moments of freedom.
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The camp is likely to be particularly lively at night this year: almost half the contestants have a history of sleepwalking, and almost as many admit they snore.

The line-up also features Janice Dickinson, aged "none of your business", who bills herself as "The First Supermodel"; former footballer and commentator Rodney Marsh, 63; PR guru Lynne Franks, 59; Anna Ryder Richardson, 43, of Changing Rooms fame; chef John Burton Race, 50; former EastEnders star Marc Bannerman, 34; singer-songwriter Cerys Matthews, 38; and former singer with boyband Five Jason "J" Brown, 31.

The biggest fear for most of the contestants is lack of food.

Marc Bannerman said: "I'd like to smuggle in my mum or my old school dinner lady. But there's no chance I'll walk out.

"I'll only leave if I'm stretchered out."

John Burton Race revealed that he had put on about 10lb. "If I need to, I can live off the fat," he said.

Lynne Franks said: "I'd always planned to do something special for my 60th birthday, like climb the Himalayas.
Christopher Biggins
Possible stand-in? Christopher Biggins is rumoured to be taking Malcolm's place

"So this is perfect. Besides I'm desperate to lose some weight. Of course I'd like to win - but I'm not sure about being Queen of the Jungle.

Goddess of the Jungle sounds better, as Cerys Matthews has the greatest number of fears and phobias - ranging from caterpillars to heights - and said: "I'm not entirely sure why I'm here."

DIY expert Anna Ryder Richardson said her practical skills might come in useful. "I might make a boot rack and maybe even weave some shoe covers."

The programme-makers are also hoping for romance. Both Gemma and "J" have admitted to fancying each other - with Gemma confessing she had been a fan of Five.

She said: "When I was a kid I had a picture of him on my pencil case.'

And "J" said: "I've never met her but she's not the worst-looking girl in the world, is she?"

But one contestant stands out as determined to let no one get the better of her.

Janice Dickinson, who once bedded Mick Jagger, has insisted she will use almost any tactic to spice up the show and enhance her chances of winning.

She said: "I did it with Mick Jagger, so don't think I couldn't do it with a wombat. I'm up for anything."
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