I’m A Celebrity to return with skyscraper challenge

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 politician Nigel Farage and Jamie Lynn Spears – sister of popstar Britney.

The 23rd series of the hit ITV show has already made headlines after it was confirmed Farage, 59, the former leader of the UK Independence Party (Ukip) and the Brexit Party would be joining This Morning host Josie Gibson, TV presenter Fred Sirieix and YouTuber Nella Rose.

Also in the mix this year is food critic Grace Dent, reality star Sam Thompson, JLS singer Marvin Humes, former EastEnders actress Danielle Harold and Hollyoaks actor Nick Pickard.

Geordie duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly return as hosts ready to challenge the celebrities to feats of bravery and gory bushtucker trials.

After this year’s line-up was released, former culture secretary Nadine Dorries, who was a jungle campmate in 2012, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that Farage “will do very well” because of his “chutzpah”.

Farage, who also hosts a show on GB News, said he has been “demonised” over the years and wants to show people he is not “mean-spirited, small-minded, nasty”.

He will be one of three unsuspecting contestants stranded in the middle of the Australian Outback desert when the show begins.

Along with Gibson, 38, and Rose, 26, the trio will be taken to the desert and told their help is needed by the rest of the celebrities who are 2,000 miles away on the Gold Coast.

Their mission is to win time for the campmates who are taking part in other challenges on the coast in a bid to win stars – and ultimately food.

Thompson, 31, Harold, 31, Sirieix, 51, and Dent, 50, will arrive by helicopter on the top of a Gold Coast skyscraper where they will be greeted by Ant and Dec and told they must climb down.

The celebrities will have to inch sideways along the building before sliding down to a horizontal flat pole, which they will crawl along in a race against the clock to unclip carbineers to release their star print flag.

The remaining three campmates, Spears, 32, Pickard, 48, and Humes, 38, must skydive into a clearing before they enter the camp.

Zoey 101 and Sweet Magnolias actress Spears said she had to get the go-ahead from her family before joining the programme.

“When they (the show) approached me, the first thing I had to do was talk it over with my family and my kids to make sure they were OK about me being gone for this amount of time,” she said.

Jamie Lynn Spears has been embroiled in controversy over the conservatorship that controlled her sister’s life for years, and in Britney’s recent memoir The Woman In Me, she details the sisters’ fractured relationship.

The complex legal arrangement, typically reserved for people unable to make their own decisions, was in place for more than 13 years before it was terminated by a judge in Los Angeles in November 2021.

The winner of the 22nd series was former footballer Jill Scott, with soap actor Owen Warner runner up.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! will air on Sunday at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.