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"It's brutal." Julia Morris on what I'm A Celebrity is really like behind the scenes.

In 2020, for the sixth year in a row, Julia Morris and Dr Chris Brown will enter the South African jungle for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia.

For comedian and actress Morris, hosting the reality show certainly comes with its challenges.

After all, watching your friends encounter terrifying bushtucker trials and disgusting eating challenges isn’t exactly easy.

Watch the trailer for the new season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! below. Post continues after video.

Video by Network 10

“I’ve had a lot of friends [on the show] over the years, which makes it hard to see them suffering,” Morris told Mamamia. “It’s really difficult.”

Speaking about her favourite contestants on the show, Morris added that it was like “choosing my babies over each other”.

“I loved Chrissy Swan, always. My beloved Joel Creasey. I loved Casey Donovan,” she recalled.

But while Morris has had dozens of favourite contestants on the show, she’s also famously “hated” others.

Speaking to news.com.au after tennis player Bernard Tomic and boxer and rugby league footballer Anthony Mundine chose to withdraw from the show in 2018, you could feel the anger dripping in her words.

“I hated them for turning their backs on it. I thought, you know what? You are weak. As. Piss. The two that walked – one of them didn’t even give it a chance! And the other one was just sort of over it,” she said referring to Tomic who left after just three nights and Mundine who departed the show after less than two weeks.

Listen to Mamamia’s podcast No Filter, where host Mia Freedman interviewed Julia Morris in 2016 about miscarriage, magazines and the paparazzi. Post continues below.

Now, nearly two years on from Tomic and Mundine’s appearance on the show, Morris’ view on the pair hasn’t changed much.

“I was so full of hate at the time and even now, when [Tomic’s] name comes up,” Morris told Mamamia.

“I’m sure had Tomic had stayed in, he would have had an experience of a lifetime but he gave it a solid 24 hours,” she added.

“He certainly didn’t lead me to believe that he had made any effort whatsoever. He had been talking himself into leaving from the first day and a good deal of that, I think, was to do with the fact that he hadn’t spent a great deal of time in Australia, meaning he wasn’t familiar with the other celebrities so he didn’t want to be associated with them.

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“So you know what, go away. Get lost. Give up. Who cares.”

Although the comedian’s opinion on Tomic remains largely the same, Morris’ perception of the contestants often changes after seeing how they interact with the other celebrities in the jungle.

One of those celebrities is The Bachelor’s Keira Maguire.

 

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“I’ll tell you who else I absolutely loved – Keira Maguire,” Morris said.

“I just had my mind made up about her and then after the jungle, I started to fall in love with her when she was really being herself rather than playing up to her ‘villain’ role,” she added.

“It happens every single series – there are always a couple where I’m like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know about them.’ But what I do like to see from the celebrities is when they grow a little while they’re in there,” she continued.

“Every single person that goes in there is really put through the wringer. They have a hard time [in the jungle]. Nothing about it is easy.

“I love to see their camaraderie and I love to see what they’re willing to do for their fellow camp members. It’s like a little shining light in humanity when we’re still happy to put our absolute comfort aside for others.”

Although most celebrities enter the show knowing exactly what they’re in for on I’m A Celebrity, Morris admits that many of the contestants have no idea what they’ve signed up for.

“A lot of them have never seen the show, which I think is a really odd way to sign a contract and go on a television show you don’t know much about,” the 51-year-old said.

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“When they’re in the jungle they’re like, ‘This is an outrage. We’re hungry. You don’t understand.’ And we’re like, ‘We understand, mate. You don’t understand because you haven’t watched the show.'”

 

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Filming for I’m A Celebrity is an intense experience. For up to two to three months, a crew of 500 people are based near Kruger National Park in South Africa to film the show. (And yes, it really is filmed in South Africa, thank you very much).

According to Morris, a day in the life on set can be “pretty brutal”.

“The alarm goes off at 4am, we’re on set at 4.30am and then we go like manics until we’re spat out at the other end of the day by 4.30pm or 5pm,” she said.

“Then we go home, don’t know whether to eat or cry or laugh, and then we’ll be [falling asleep] by 7pm. There aren’t a lot of waking hours that aren’t spent putting our back into high octane personality.”

Although Morris, Dr Chris Brown and the entire I’m A Celebrity crew have loved their annual time spent in South Africa, there’s been a long running conspiracy theory that the show is actually filmed in the Blue Mountains in NSW.

“There are 500 people on this crew so I have a feeling that if we were in the Blue Mountains, someone would have blown the secret by now. How do 500 people stay quiet? People can’t keep a secret on Instagram for four minutes so how are that many people going to keep a pact to keep the secret?” Morris said, responding to the theory.

“And I always say, anyone who doesn’t believe me – please, come and find us in the Blue Mountains because we’re gonna stand out,” she added.

After over five years of working together, the crew of the show have become incredibly close.

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“We sort of feel like locals in our little bush town [in South Africa] now,” Morris said.

“The day that the show stops being made will be a very sad day in our hearts because there’s something so incredibly intoxicating about Africa.”

And over the years, Morris and her fellow host Dr Chris Brown continue to grow even closer.

“We know each other’s families, we know the different pressures that have happened during the year outside the show – there is a deep mutual respect and love that we have for each other,” she said.

Although the first episode of I’m A Celebrity isn’t set to drop until the first week of January, there’s currently one confirmed contestant – celebrity chef and television presenter Miguel Maestre.

So far, we know that this year’s lineup will include a TV megastar, a leading lady, a footy legend, a blonde bombshell and a famous DJ.

And honestly, your guess is a good as ours.

Feature Image: Supplied/Channel 10.

Are you excited for the new season of I’m A Celebrity? Who do you want to see enter the jungle? Let us know in the comments.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! premieres on January 5, 2020 at 7.30pm on Channel 10.

You can find out more about Julia Morris’ 2020 national tour, I’m Not Even Joking, right here.


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