Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Bye George

I've tried to steer clear of 'I'm a Celebrity...' this year, given the astonishingly low profile of most of the 'talent' occupying the camp beds. On the whole it's all been about as entertaining as a bra full of mealworms, and when that bra happens to belong to a passive-aggressive cleaner built like a WWF wrestler in a one-piece swimsuit, the appeal tends to wane pretty quickly.

It doesn't help that the incessant Iceland ad-break bumpers keep showcasing food that makes the bushtucker trials look edible by comparrison - any day now we're going to see Coleen Nolan tuck into a kangaroo anus in satay sauce.

Adding to the general sense of ennui is the fact that the camp has had more people walk out than the Sugababes. Camilla Dallerup gave up after a couple of days, citing 'exhaustion', then Katie price followed a few days later, having finally realised that the audience didn't like the look of her new Mursi-tribe inspired lips.

But the biggest blow to camp camaraderie was the departure of George Hamilton. Despite being exempt from virtually every task on health grounds, he soon established himself as one of the more likeable members of the camp, with his quick wit, gleaming smile and career that involves more than occasionally appearing in heat's 'spotted' column.

After a heart-to-heart with several members of the camp, George decided that he'd had enough and opted to take an early bath. Ostensibly, he did it out of love and respect for the show's other participants, but it's telling how that compassion manifested itself.

Explaining his reasoning to Kim, he said “Here’s the thing, I’m going to tell you what I’m thinking, they’re people who are starting careers... I’m not going to go head to head, so I’m thinking about leaving, pulling out tomorrow.”

The thing about celebrities is that they have to believe that there's an army of fans hanging on their every move. Just look at Katie Price - audiences would happily have voted for her to be bundled into a sleeping bag full of scorpions and beaten with an old hammock frame. But ask her why and she'd shrug and say it might be because the public love to watch her. 

It's the same with George. Whatever his real reasons for leaving the show, he couldn't help but feel that he was a threat to the younger, less established contestants. By selflessly quitting, so as to avoid going head-to-head with a weaker member of the pack, he revealed just how much he fancied his chances of winning. Then again, when you're up against such showbiz luminaries as Justin Ryan, Gino D'Acampo and Jimmy White, it's hardly surprising. 

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