The sad curse of the jungle bikini girls: The new I'm A Celebrity gimmick? A shower powerful enough to blast off swimwear. But, as we reveal, it's a fate fit for previous desperate wannabes...
By Elizabeth Sanderson
PUBLISHED: 17:02 EST, 16 November 2013 | UPDATED: 03:05 EST, 17 November 2013
This year's model: Amy Willerton has just entered the jungle, making it clear she will take that spot
Bikinis at the ready girls. Yes, it’s that time of year again, and as the 13th series of I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! begins this evening, so too does the annual battle of the two-piece.
The shower scenes in the jungle have become as much a part of the ITV reality show as the daily bushtucker trial.
Indeed, such is their appeal that producers have reportedly installed a new power shower capable of washing the more flimsy costumes away.
Meanwhile, two of this year’s campmates – Miss Universe finalist Amy Willerton and Emmerdale actress Lucy Pargeter – have already entered the fray.
When the contestants landed in Australia last week, Ms Willerton, 21, was soon pictured lounging by the hotel pool in a striking electric blue bikini.
Then there was the Baywatch-style run along Surfers’ Paradise beach, Queensland, in a tiny turquoise number.
Ms Pargeter, on the other hand, is playing the long game.
The 36-year-old actress, who plays Chas Dingle, has admitted to picking three different bikinis but claims she might not wear any of them, despite having posed for lads’ magazines in the past.
‘I will probably wear a modesty smock all the time, even in the shower,’ she claimed. ‘Maybe I will be all right after lack of food. When my ribs start showing, I might put them on then.’
Yet, how much good fortune do these waterfall ablutions actually bring? True, they guarantee the women airtime – a crucial factor when it’s up to the viewers who stays in the camp and who goes.
But in the longer term, their appearance on the show doesn’t always translate into personal or career success.
Ready to go: Miss Willerton has already posed in a bikini for promotion shots of the reality show starting tonight
Jungle attire? The 21-year-old Miss Universe finalist arrived in New South Wales in stilettos and a skin-tight skirt
Also cashing in: Emmerdale actress Lucy Pargeter, 36, admits to bringing three bikinis to film the series
Last night, the celebrities were forced to shelter in the Bush Telegraph after storms battered the camp which is in a remote rain forest near Murwillumbah in New South Wales. Winds reached 65mph, there were 7,000 lightning strikes within 12 hours and hailstones the size of tennis balls.
The creek, which was dry a couple of days ago, is now a raging torrent. It’s not exactly bikini weather, which might turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
For here, The Mail on Sunday offers a guide to I’m A Celebrity’s most popular bikini girls, and the fate that awaited them...
Nell McAndrew, 2002
Setting the bar: Nell McAndrew was the first model in the jungle - viewers complained she didn't strip enough
SHE WAS: A glamour model who shot to fame playing Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft in promotional campaigns. When she appeared in I’m A Celeb . . . , she had just released her first fitness video.
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: As the first model in the jungle she set the bar for bikini shots – even if some fans complained she didn’t strip as often as they would like.
THE AFTERMATH: Two years after the jungle, she had a new job – as the voice of Yorkshire Water’s sewage, recording the scripts for a tour. But she has also released two more bestselling fitness DVDs and is a keen marathon runner. Nell, 40, now concentrates on charity work and her two children by husband, developer Paul Hardcastle.
Sophie Anderton, 2004
Tempestuous: Wonderbra model Sophie Anderton raked in viewers but clashed with fellow campers
SHE WAS: A Wonderbra model.
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: Clashed with singer Natalie Appleton over a treehouse.
THE AFTERMATH: She cut off all her hair, claiming creepy-crawlies were living in it. There were periods in rehab and in 2007 she was exposed as an escort girl. Now 43, she signed up for a string of awful reality shows, including having liposuction on air.
Catalina Guirado, 2003
Hated it: Lads' mag model Catalina Guirado was delighted when she was finally evicted from the show
SHE WAS: A model and 1990s lads’ mag favourite.
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: She hated it. When evicted she said: ‘I’m so happy to get out. It was so boring.’ She believes her body was invaded by parasites. (The tiny organisms, that is, not the cameramen who ‘watched every move’ in the shower.)
THE AFTERMATH: She so hated the way her appearance had been ‘manipulated’ that she emigrated to Los Angeles. ‘I didn’t want to wear a bikini,’ she says. ‘But there was no other way of having a shower’ She is now 39 and an art curator.
Helen Flanagan, 2012
Ruthless: Former Coronation Stret actress Miss Flanagan showered numerous times a day for the cameras
SHE WAS: Rosie Webster in Coronation Street
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: She ruthlessly worked the bikini trick, switching costumes on what seemed like an hourly basis . . . but her plan failed and the public voted for her to do an unprecedented seven bushtucker trials in a row.
THE AFTERMATH: Outside of lads’ mags, the 23-year-old was last seen on Channel 5’s dire reality show, Celebrity Super Spa which centres on six celebrities working in a real-life spa in Liverpool.
Dani Behr, 2008
WAG: Known for dating Ryan Giggs, she was very open about her reasons for showering so often. But left early
SHE WAS: Known for presenting The Word and The Big Breakfast and for romances with footballers Ryan Giggs and Les Ferdinand. In 2008, she was living in Sydney with her husband, Carl Harwin, the owner of a frozen yogurt shop, and their two children.
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: Brazen about her hopes the show would relaunch her career, Dani was a frequent visitor to the waterfall shower, but was the second person to be voted out.
THE AFTERMATH: Now 43, she moved into the voiceover business.
Kerry Katona and Katie Price, 2004
Success stories? Bikini girl Kerry Katona won the competition, and Katie Price met husband-to-be Peter Andre
KERRY WAS: An Atomic Kitten and wife of Westlife star Bryan McFadden.
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: One of the few bikini girls to have won the competition.
THE AFTERMATH: Six months after the show, she had separated from
McFadden. Her last reality show for MTV – about her bipolar disorder –
was dropped after the audience fell to just 19,000. Now 33, she’s been
declared bankrupt twice, had her home repossessed, spent years battling
cocaine addiction and split from her second husband, Mark Croft.
KATIE WAS: Jordan
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: On the show she met Peter Andre, leading to a short-lived marriage and a long-lived reality TV career.
THE AFTERMATH: The couple divorced in 2009 and have been hurling insults at each other ever since. Katie, 35, is very much still in the limelight.
Gemma Atkinson, 2007
Assets: Hollyoaks actress Gemma Atkinson displayed her newly-enhanced 34E breasts on the show
SHE WAS: A former Hollyoaks actress.
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: She showed off her newly enhanced breasts: 34E, if you must know.
THE AFTERMATH: She added glamour modelling to her CV and dated footballer Marcus Bent, then Britain’s Got Talent finalist Liam Richards. Now 29, she has just filmed a Bollywood movie in – where else? – Switzerland.
Daniella Westbrook, 2003
Homesick: Despite getting her bikini out, Eastenders' Daniella Westbrook left the show pining for her family
SHE WAS: EastEnders’ Sam Mitchell and a former cocaine addict.
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: She left the show saying she missed her children.
THE AFTERMATH: She turned her back on fame, quitting the UK in 2010 to live in California and becoming a born-again Christian. Now 40 and back in Britain, she appeared in Hollyoaks this year.
...AND ONE WHO WAS SHOWERED IN RICHES: Myleene Klass, 2006
Sought after: Playboy offered Ms Klass a six-figure deal to pose for them but she went for Marks & Spencer instead
SHE WAS: Former Hear’Say star who’d gone solo.
JUNGLE EXPOSURE: The exception that proves the rule, her frequent showers (which she later revealed were a way of coping with the sexual frustration of being away from her husband) were a sensation, with Playboy offering her a six-figure show to pose for them. Instead she became the face of Marks & Spencer.
THE AFTERMATH: Now a successful presenter and musician, worth an estimated £11 million.
- Additional reporting by Sandra White