I’m A Celeb winner Tony Blackburn exposes change to food challenges: ‘Don’t let you!

I’m A Celeb: Tony Blackburn reflects on being vegetarian on show

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The 21st series of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! returned on Sunday night with the second series in Gwrych Castle, Wales. As the 10 celebrities entered the castle, former King of the Jungle Tony Blackburn joined Susanna Reid and Adil Ray on Good Morning Britain to discuss his experience in the jungle and the big change which producers made after his appearance on the show.

Introducing Tony to the show, Susanna said: “We are joined by the shows first-ever winner to reflect on who he thinks might be the next winner, Tony Blackburn, did you see it from start to finish last night?”

Tony began: “I did, I had a radio programme until 10 o’clock, and then I came back, and I watched it, and my god, it started off well, didn’t it? Richard, poor old Richard is in prison already.”

Susanna continued: “It’s not really the start you’d want, is it? He’s ended up already on the losing team.

“And the reason that he and Frankie Bridge entered late was because viewers had already voted for them to do the trial, and then he loses that as well.”

“It’s such a shame,” Tony agreed, “I mean because we hadn’t had a chance to see him properly yet, but I mean, I think he will do very well, he’ll come through it alright.”

Presenting alongside Susanna, Adil Ray asked: “When you were in it, were you voted to do the trial a few times?”

Laughing, Tony replied: “No, I was very lucky, I mean, first of all, I’m a vegetarian, I have been a vegetarian since the age of five.

“So, when I was asked to do the programme, I said, ‘yes, I’m an animal lover, but I won’t actually eat any meat’.

“They gave me soya and Noel Edmonds when he was going out to do it, he rang me from Heathrow Airport and said, ‘have you got any tips?’

“I said, ‘tell them you’re a vegetarian’ and he said, ‘oh god, it’s too late’.”

Following his chat with Noel, Tony then revealed show bosses have now made a change to their casting requirement as he claimed vegetarians are no longer sought after for the show.

“But if you’re a vegetarian, I don’t think they’ve allowed anymore vegetarians on there,” he added.

Surprised at Tony’s revelation, Susanna said: “It’s funny you say that because Richard did say in an interview with OK! Magazine that he thinks that we’re going to enjoy him eating unspeakable parts of a rabbit.

“I mean, you do have to eat some pretty unpleasant things, whereas if you’re a veggie, of course,” to which Tony interrupted: “I love the rice and beans.

“They all moan about it, [but] I couldn’t get enough of it, and when they had enough of theirs, I was scooping some of it up, and they were giving me their leftovers.”

This year’s line-up includes pop star Frankie Bridge, former BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, music producer Naughty Boy, TV presenter Richard Madeley, Olympic gold medallist Matty Lee, Paralympian Kadeena Cox, football legend David Ginola, former Strictly judge Dame Arlene Phillips, Radio 1Xtra DJ Snoochie Shy and Emmerdale star Danny Miller.

However, last night viewers of the show were left feeling disappointed and underwhelmed as many didn’t know who the celebrities were.

Twitter user @rihannon_5fitz said: “I’m a celeb this year be like… ‘You probably recognise me from…’ nope! I have no clue who you are! #ImACeleb.” (sic)

@Luke_barnard99 tweeted: “Really scraping the barrel this year #ImACeleb.”

@laurenharriss_x added: “Who are these people??? #imaceleb,’ and @povsparker commented: “All these celebs saying, ‘you’ll know me from…’ bro I don’t know any of u #imaceleb.”

@LucyDramaGee said: “The only participants I know this year are the DJs. Hopefully, it will be more interesting than last year.”

@RefugeeNik also wrote: “Watching ‘I’m a diversity, get me out of here’ Bit underwhelming so far, David Ginola was famous about 25 years ago, only one I’ve heard so far #imaceleb.”

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! airs every day from 9pm on ITV. 
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