Arlene Phillips has spoken out about the fact that female contestants on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! are often the first to be eliminated, as she appeared on MailOnline’s Jungle Confidential.
The choreographer, 79, appeared on the show in 2021 where she became the first campmate to be sent home.
She was followed out by Snoochie Shy and Kadeena Cox, while the year before saw Victoria Derbyshire and Beverley Callard follow Ruthie Henshall and Hollie Arnold out of the castle, leaving just two women and six men.
Having her say: Arlene Phillips has spoken out about the fact that female contestants on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! are often the first to be eliminated, as she appeared on MailOnline’s Jungle Confidential
Speaking on the departure of Scarlette Douglas on Sunday night, Arlene told Katie Hind there were questions about her exit.
She said: ‘I was really surprised, she’s just warm, bubbly, eager to take on challenges, she seems to me to be the perfect jungle contestant. I love her personality. For her there are questions’.
When asked to elaborate, she said: ‘I think why a female quite frankly? Because on our show I was first, then Kadeena then Snoochie.
‘Frankie did remain in right until the bitter end, but it did seem to be exclusion of females as quickly as possible.’
First to go: The choreographer, 79, appeared on the show in 2021 where she became the first campmate to be sent home
‘Charlene I really got her. She was strong and brave. What do females have to do to be recognised? Their strength doesn’t seem to appeal as much as for the male strength.’
Arlene went on to say the problem was systemic, and could be seen in all aspects of society.
She said: ‘It’s very interesting, where women really stand in society. You only need to watch Parliament on TV and as much as parties are trying to bring in females, again in the House of Lords, we are dominated by males, we are swamped by them.
‘Which is why I think it’s very important for women of every age to be on television. We need to be a stronger dominant force and be able to hold those strong positions,
When asked to elaborate, she said: ‘I think why a female quite frankly? Because on our show I was first, then Kadeena then Snoochie.’
‘And sometimes I think it’s maybe female viewers because sometimes they’re the ones who do not necessarily support women.’
She then raised the question: ‘In our year, there were many more men than women, as indeed there are this year. If we were to switch the balance, would it have been different?’
Elsewhere in the chat, Arlene spoke about her feelings for the other campmates still in the jungle.
She said that the accusations of gaslighting against Seann Walsh and Boy George’s past conviction of assault and false imprisonment in 2009 were ‘private histories’.
Kicked out: The year before saw Victoria Derbyshire (top left) and Beverley Callard (top right) follow Ruthie Henshall (bottom left) and Hollie Arnold (bottom right) out of the castle first
She explained: ‘There are many people that have history and they are in some sense private histories that have become public due to their exposure. I always say we don’t know what’s happening in any household all over the UK.’
‘There is someone with a more public history which I find disconcerting. With Boy George, exactly what happened I don’t think any of us know.’
Speaking about Matt Hancock’s controversial appearance on the show, Arlene said that it made her ‘uncomfortable’ as it wasn’t the right thing for a politician to do, as he should be with his constituents.
She said: ‘I think it makes me extremely uncomfortable. Because when somebody becomes a politician they have a status to uphold, that they set to lead, to guide, to create calm and evenness.
‘Questions’: Speaking on the departure of Scarlette Douglas on Sunday night, Arlene told Katie Hind there were questions about her exit
‘And I’m not sure that can be fully represented by allowing snakes to walk over you. When I went into it and I’d been made a dame it was like what’s a dame doing in the jungle, is that what one does?
‘I feel like we all have our own reasons and inner demons, and you think here’s a quick way to lose those fears and you’re trying something different. But as a politician I think you have to uphold your presence.
‘Especially a politician I think has failed the public greatly, just be there as for you constituents, be there as the human being you are. Don’t try and be lovable or ask for forgiveness on television.’
Matt said he’s going on I’m A Celebrity to ‘prove politicians are humans too’ and connect with a younger audience, after his decision to enter the jungle sparked a fierce backlash from Westminster and the public.
Despite political insiders telling MailOnline that Matt’s decision to go on I’m A Celebrity will end his frontline political career, he insists he’s received plenty of support from his fellow MPs, although admitted he doesn’t expect to serve in Government again.
She added: ‘Charlene I really got her. She was strong and brave. What do females have to do to be recognised? Their strength doesn’t seem to appeal as much as for the male strength’
Matt, who was forced to quit Boris Johnson ‘s Government after he was caught flouting his own Covid lockdown rules with his married aide Gina Coladangelo, also revealed that he’s ‘looking forward’ to showing the public a different side to him after his time in the cabinet.
He said: ‘I don’t expect to serve in Government again but there are lots of ways you can communicate and engage with people.
‘When I got approached to take part, I did think long and hard about it but one of the reasons that I felt able to say yes was because the IAC team have put in place a system so I can be reached at any point on any urgent constituency matters.
‘Lots of people have a view on me from being Health Secretary in the pandemic dealing with some very difficult issues, but that’s not the whole story. I am looking forward to throwing myself into it all like I do everything in life. You can’t hide anything in the jungle, you see somebody warts and all.’
Going on to insist he has received a lot of support despite having his Conservative Party whip suspended, Mr Hancock added: ‘I informed the Whip and I gave my reasons. I have had a lot of supportive messages from people who can see what I am trying to do to show that politicians are people too.’
Opinion: She said that the accusations of gaslighting against Seann Walsh and Boy George’s past conviction of assault and false imprisonment in 2009 were ‘private histories’.
Matt was publicly condemned by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said the MP will alienate voters in his West Suffolk constituents more than 10,000 miles from his ITV jungle camp, saying: ‘I was very disappointed with Matt’s decision.’
And despite jungle veteran Lembit Opik insisting that Mr Hancock is ‘looking for a change of career’ by entering I’m A Celebrity, the MP insisted that the first thing he’ll do upon leaving the jungle is return to Suffolk to hold a surgery with his constituents.
He explained: ‘We will take it from there. There are lots of different ways to communicate with the public and we (politicians) are wrong if we think you can only do that on the traditional political shows where you are mainly only talking to people who take an active interest in politics.
‘It’s important we engage with everyone including young people in who our politicians are and this programme is a good way to do that. I am looking forward to it.’
During his time on the show he is also hoping to raise awareness for dyslexia, and a spokesperson said this in a statement before he headed to the jungle: ‘The second reading of Matt’s Dyslexia Screening and Teacher Training Bill is just days after I’m A Celebrity… finishes.
‘By going on the show, Matt hopes to raise the profile of his dyslexia campaign and will use the platform to talk about an issue he really cares about in front of millions of people. Matt is determined that no child should leave primary school not knowing if they have dyslexia.
‘Matt has been working on constituency matters this week and show producers have agreed that Matt can communicate with his team if there’s an urgent constituency matter while he’s on the show.
‘As soon as Matt’s time in camp is up, he will return to Suffolk to hold surgeries where he will catch up with his constituents and discuss matters of concern.
‘Matt will be making a donation to St Nicholas Hospice in Suffolk, and causes supporting dyslexia – including the British Dyslexia Association, off the back of his appearance. He will, of course, declare the amount he receives from the show to Parliament to ensure complete transparency, as normal.’
Controversy: Speaking about Matt Hancock’s controversial appearance on the show, Arlene said that it made her ‘uncomfortable’ as it wasn’t the right thing for a politician to do
I’M A CELEBRITY 2022: THE FULL LINEUP
CLAIM TO FAME: Legendary pop star
PHOBIAS: Being scared
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? No, I am going straight into the jungle from playing at various festivals and gigs
ROLE IN THE CAMP: In-house dietician reassuring everyone that they will be ok on the jungle diet. And entertainer – I will sing!
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I am a very positive person and I don’t bear any grudges
DREAM CAMPMATE: It would be funny if my ex, Jon Moss, comes on the programme -but I don’t think that will happen!
CLAIM TO FAME: Radio DJ
PHOBIAS: I am petrified of heights. I ended up carrying the bags when we took my girlfriend’s niece once to Go Ape as I am so petrified!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? A friend’s birthday, a wedding, and Leeds United matches
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Entertainer. Hopefully I can help shorten everyone’s boredom.
BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hiding food! I am going to fly out early and sneak into the jungle and hide pot noodles everywhere, then I will be everyone’s best friend!
DREAM CAMPMATE: Ant and Dec…let’s see how they cope for 24 hours!
CLAIM TO FAME: Playing Eileen Grimshaw in Coronation Street
PHOBIAS: Don’t be ridiculous! I am not going to admit to what I fear most!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? Coronation Street and we are expecting another grandchild any day, so hopefully it will arrive before I fly out to Australia.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I will be more of a mum – that is where I will naturally fit.
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I can cook and I am a good listener, so hopefully I will be a friendly ear for everyone.
DREAM CAMPMATE: Good Morning Britain’s Richard Arnold. He is my TV husband and it would be lovely to have an ally in camp!
CLAIM TO FAME: Presenter of A Place In The Sun
PHOBIAS: Spiders. There is no point in lying about it! I’ve got an irrational fear about them
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? Just a holiday which I can postpone
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum, cook and morale booster. I always like to look at the positive side in life
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I can cook and I will be good at making sure everything is tidy in camp
DREAM CAMPMATE: Mo Gilligan. He is hilarious and I totally fancy him!
CLAIM TO FAME: Comedian
PHOBIAS: I am scared of absolutely everything. Snakes, rats – I am fearful of them all and I am dreading the trials
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? I was going on tour but we’ve postponed it now until next year
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Tension breaker. If I can break tension anywhere it starts up in the camp, then I will do that. We don’t need to be bickering as it will be a first-time experience for everyone
BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hopefully I will bring some humour to the camp
DREAM CAMPMATE: I am a big Arsenal fan and so any ex-Arsenal player would be great. I am looking forward to chatting to Ant & Dec about football
CLAIM TO FAME: Comedian
PHOBIAS: I am not too pleased about rats being in there but I am just trying to pretend it is not happening!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? No, I am really looking forward to taking part in this show
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION YOU WANT TO DISPEL IN THE JUNGLE: People have voiced their feelings about me and I am hoping they will see I am very different. I want to create new memories
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I am a great listener. I can’t cook but if someone would like to teach me, then I will give it a go
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I don’t want to put myself down but if my friends were to answer this question, they would say there isn’t much Seann can do! I am not really bringing too much to the table which is why I am a good listener!
DREAM CAMPER: Lee Evans, anyone from Blink-182 or Boy George. My mum took me to see him at Wembley and he wore a satellite dish as a hat!
CLAIM TO FAME: Rugby Union player and married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall
PHOBIAS: I haven’t admitted to having any phobias but in a weird way, I am looking forward to taking part in the trials!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? My podcast series and the rugby Internationals this autumn
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Morning motivator. I would like to see everyone get on well and us all have a great experience
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I am a positive person
DREAM CAMPMATE: Samuel L Jackson would be cool. He has lived the life!
CLAIM TO FAME: Playing Romeo Nightingale in Hollyoaks
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? I am a big fan of football so I will miss watching the start of the World Cup
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Entertainer and games coordinator
BEST ATTRIBUTE: It is definitely not my cooking skills or brains!
DREAM CAMPMATE: Any of the Leicester City starting 11!
CLAIM TO FAME: ITV newsreader and Loose Women anchor
PHOBIAS: I am not sure what my fear factor will be because I’ve never had rodents, spiders and snakes crawling all over me!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? My children’s annual school ball which I am gutted about
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum and cook. I don’t mind falling into that position
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I like to listen and talk. I love learning about people and I have a natural curiosity for people
DREAM CAMPMATE: Colin Murray and Richard Osman
CLAIM TO FAME: Retired England Lioness
PHOBIAS: I don’t like rats and the thought of being underground fills me with fear!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? The Men’s World Cup. I am going to find it weird not being able to know how the men are getting on in the tournament. Hopefully they will still be in the tournament when I come out of the jungle
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Helping hand. I like to help people if they aren’t having a good day
BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hard worker. I will always find a way to add value. I am also very honest
DREAM CAMPMATE: Another sports person would be great as it would be someone to bounce ideas off.
OLIVIA ATTWOOD – EXITED THE SHOW
CLAIM TO FAME: Love Island star
PHOBIAS: I hate the dark so I’m keen to avoid any challenges in the darkness
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? No, had the show been on air any later, I could have missed my sister’s wedding
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Clown. I was always the class clown at school and I love having a laugh
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I don’t take myself seriously and I have got a good sense of humour
DREAM CAMPMATE: A pop legend like Dolly Parton who has amazing stories to tell
CLAIM TO FAME: Politician
PHOBIAS: Snakes. I don’t thankfully suffer from claustrophobia –or I think I don’t!
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION YOU WANT TO DISPEL IN THE JUNGLE: Politicians are people too and it will be nice for people to see me as me. We are human too
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I like to muck in, and I think I will be collecting a lot of firewood. I like cooking too