reality tv

"Thank God my menopause was under control." Julia Morris on lockdown, Pete Evans and I'm A Celebrity.

Julia Morris was a little worried about how she'd adapt to the I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! set.

The co-host had spent a total of 33 weeks locked down in her Melbourne home throughout 2020, so a move to the jungle - which this year saw the South African wilderness subbed for Murwillumbah in northern New South Wales - was a drastic change.

"I was wondering how I would go through the shoot, having had 33 weeks in lockdown when so few other people on and around set had. So I'm like, "oh my god am I going to be absolutely nuts? And no one's going to realise why?'" Julia told Mamamia ahead of the I'm a Celebrity premiere on January 3.

"'Am I going to be resentful because they haven't been locked down? So when they tell me what it's been like for COVID am I going to turn?'"

Watch: The promo for I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Post continues below video.


Video via Channel 10.

But if this year has taught Julia - and many of us - anything, it's how to "roll with the punches".

"This year, if it's taught me nothing else it's to roll with the punches now... There's certainly been, I feel in my household, there's been a tremendous amount of resilience come out of this year."

There's also another silver lining.

"Thank God my menopause was under control by the time this year happened, because let me tell you, it's not out of the question that I would've killed someone," she said, which may or may not have been a joke.

After leaving Melbourne's lockdown, Julia quarantined for two weeks in NSW before being set free for filming.

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Despite the many changes brought about by this year, Julia said the show is better than ever - and it could not come at a more vital time.

"I think we've adapted pretty well. Obviously our show started seven years ago by really following the UK format, so the excitement of getting to be on the UK set [in Murwillumbah] after all these years was superb. 

"Obviously we're not in Africa, so that's a huge difference, but in terms of the entertainment... I think every year is always bigger and better. I think it's funnier, I think we had to busk for part of it like when we're all flooded out and pretending we're not standing in the rain.

"I think that there's never been a time in my life that I can remember where I've needed a laugh more, so I feel like the show is coming at the perfect time for Aussie homes, like 'I need a laugh man, because this has just got stupid now'."

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The I'm a Celebrity casting process faced criticism after it was reported Pete Evans had been recruited for the show, but was dropped after sharing a neo-Nazi meme to Facebook in November.

Julia said she wasn't privy to casting decisions, and Pete Evans' intended involvement was never confirmed to her.

"But I don't think it's really this thing is it?" she laughed.

"As if that guy, who goes on about not relying on the mainstream media, would go into the jungle. That seems like an incredibly odd choice don't you think? 

"Let's put it this way... he wasn't missed. If he was going in, he wasn't missed."

We're at the point before the show airs where the media and public are dissecting the clues, trying to work out who we will be seeing in the 'jungle'. (Mamamia's got our own guesses, which you can read here).

Julia is offering no hints, but she said it's a good bunch.

"I think we're going to see adventure, we're going to see people rise above themselves for the greater good, we're going to see great transformations, we're going to see people we haven't seen in a while and we're going to see people we've seen very recently. I think what we're going to see is people for who they really are.

"This is a pretty special group of people and I think they've done a magnificent job of surviving their time in the jungle," she said.

We're going to get everything we want, including celebrities in uncomfortable positions and new insight into people we didn't expect.

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"They're so far, I loathe the expression comfort zone, but they wouldn't even find their way back to their comfort zones it's so uncomfortable in the jungle. It's a completely weird, 100 per cent abnormal space to be in," Julia said.

"They are no longer in charge of themselves. While they may be in in discomfort and they're sleeping next to someone who snores like the Southern aurora arriving in at the station, it's bad luck. Those are the things they have to get used to."

Of course, there's always a bit of drama too.

"There are not too many showponies," Julia said. 

"They settle into jungle life pretty quickly... [but] I like it when people speak up for themselves and I like it when if someone feels like they're doing the wrong thing, someone calls them out on it. I like that, I like that this group are hopefully going to protect each other and entertain us in the process."

As for Julia, who made it home to Victoria just before the most recent border closures to NSW, this marks the first time she'll be at home in Australia watching the show with the rest of the nation.

"I actually get to watch the show with my friends this year, how strange will that be?"

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here Australia starts January 3 on Channel 10.

Read more: From Paulini to Guy Sebastian: Our definitive guesses as to who is heading into the 'I'm a Celeb' jungle.

Feature image: Channel 10.


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