Tony Blackburn thought bushtucker trials were a ‘mistake’ during I’m A Celebrity stint on first ever series
Tony Blackburn has revealed that he really had no idea what he was getting himself in for during the first ever series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The juggernaut programme has seen the likes of Gemma Collins, Caitlyn Jenner, Peter Andre and now Matt Hancock over 22 series, but back in 2002, Tony was joined by the likes of spoon-bender Uri Geller, comedian Rhona Cameron, boxer Nigel Benn, performer Darren Day and socialite Tara Palmer-Tompkinson in the jungle.
DJ Tony, then aged 59, inspired 55% of the public vote – which a fresh-faced Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly revealed in camp amounted to 1.5 million phone calls.
When Tony heard he’d won, he exclaimed: ‘Oh, I’m so delighted! That’s so unexpected.’
But despite winning the series, the 79-year-old has now revealed that he thought the bushtucker trials, a firm favourite of the show, were a ‘mistake’.
Appearing on This Morning on Wednesday, Tony shared: ‘It just changed me as a person, I loved it, absolutely loved it.’
Host Holly Willoughby replied: ‘You didn’t know what you were going into, I mean, it’s different now, people can watch the last series and see what it’s going to be like and know that there’s going to be these trials, but you didn’t know any of that.’
Tony continued: ‘I don’t think that they told us that they were going to have these bushtucker trials.
‘Tara Tompkinson was the first one to do it, and she went out and she came back, and she said to us, “It was weird, they put me in a box and they poured stuff over me”.
‘And we all said, “Well it must have been a mistake!”‘
He added: ‘It’s harder now than it was when we did it.’
Despite the shock of the first ever bushtucker trial, Tomkinson went on to snatch 45% of the public vote and scored the runner-up place.
Very sadly, Tara died of a brain tumour and rare autoimmune illness in 2017 aged 45.
The third-place runner-up was Christine Hamilton. She was well-known as a media personality, and as wife of Neil Harrison, a former Conservative MP for Tatton. Currently, he’s the leader of UKIP.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.
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