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In the jungle something is stirring.

IT'S a mesmerising collision between has-beens and wannabes, with a dash of cruelty thrown in for good measure - and we can't get enough of it.

Since it first hit our screens in August 2002, I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! has staked its claim as the daddy of all reality shows.

The good news is the show is back for another run. As usual we're promised a gaggle of personalities from the outer fringes of celebrity, a brand new array of toe-curling "Bushtucker Trials" and irreverent commentary from Ant and Dec.

Contestants this time include 70s child star Jimmy Osmond, Blue's Anthony Costa, tanned wheeler-dealer David Dickinson, Atomic Kitten singer Jenny Frost and Ex-Neighbours actress Kimberley Davies.

"It's car crash TV at its best," says Jon Peake, Editor-in-Chief of TV Quick, TV Choice and Total TV Guide, when asked to sum up the show's enduring success.

"While the bits with the contestants sitting around in the jungle can be rather dull, you know that just around the corner is a huge row, one of those excellent challenges that always go to the people the viewers hate (think Natalie Appleton) and the formation of unlikely alliances we never thought we'd see.

Broadcaster and journalist Andrew Collins is similarly effusive.

"I speak as a fan," he says, "but what's great about I'm A Celebrity is that you know exactly what you're going to get. The show worked from series one, and the programme-makers now cast to archetype.

"What will always happen is two people will fall out, two will fancy each other, one will reveal themself to be deeper than we imagined, one will play up for the cameras, one will threaten to leave, one will start a revolution and one will cry.

"In an unpredictable world. it's comforting to know some things stay the same."

Andrew, however, does have one reservation."I still have slight qualms about the way animals and insects are used as props," he reveals, "but it's not the trials that I like, it's the mundane stuff at camp. That's where these people are revealed."

Peake, however, is more drawn to the show's penchant for cruelty.

"We want to see celebs enduring hardship, starvation and madness," he says. "We don't want them to have any home comforts. We want them stripped away so we can see who they really are. The more 'normal' they appear to be, and the worse it is for them, the better we like it.

"For viewers, it's must-see TV. For those taking part, it's either a one way ticket to a revitalised career or oblivion. Most of them are only too willing to take that chance I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! ITV1, Sunday, 9pm

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Bryn FOn Un o'r werin, yr 'hogia' go iawn' - ia, wir yr

Nia Parry Chwarae teg iddi, mae cyflwynwraig Welsh in a Week a'r Cwpwrdd Dillad yn grediniol iawn mewn ' Cymraeg yn Gyntaf
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2005
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