Andrew Daddo: "This is what really happens on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!"

I’m surprisingly excited to find out who’s going into the African bush for the second series of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. It’s a hell of an experience, and a year after being part of the first series, I’m pretty sure I had a good time.

It was interesting, at the very least. Not interesting in the, ‘boy, that’s interesting’ way, but interesting for what the experience actually was. It was definitely weird, and difficult, and it is true that Barry Hall and I often discussed finding a venomous snake to take us out of the game.

In retrospect, we weren’t quite ourselves.

Slobbing about all day in a 20m X 30m TV Studio/campsite with several cameras, a screen overhead dispersing natural sunlight and any chance of seeing the famous African sky might change your perspective on things. Ridiculous food rationing probably didn’t help, and being chaperoned whenever out of camp by notepad wielding producers had its impact as well.

We definitely weren’t ourselves. Or maybe we were, just not the selves we thought we were.

It’s an experiment, really. The whole thing is an investigation into the human condition with people watching on. It starts with living with people you’d never ever consider living with, eating with them, sharing one toilet, showering in the open, trying to silently fart – or blaming Merv, and desperately hoping not to embarrass your teenage children. There are mind games, rampant paranoia and starvation.

I mean, it’s so compelling, why wouldn’t everyone do it?

Daddo with hosts Julia Morris and Chris Brown. Image via Twitter @imacelebrityau.

Basically, here’s what happened to me, which is probably what the new IACGMOOH happens to the contestants, who at this point, will be without phones and laptops because as soon as they arrive in South Africa, they will be taken from them. It’s to protect them from blowing their cover, what celeb doesn’t want to Instagram a photo of themselves with a rhino or an elephant.

Last year, we were all sent to different lodges throughout the area and imprisoned. A good prison, though. And we were allowed out on game drives, provided none of the other celebs were game driving at the same time. I did laugh when I saw Barry Hall coming along a track from the opposite direction, something that put an end to my extra curricular activities.

If I wanted to go anywhere, it had to be cleared with a bunch of emails, as if I was really important, but in an imprisoned kind of way.

Image via Ten Play.

There were medical and psychological tests, final chats with the producers and then it was time to go. At this stage, it still felt like it was going to be a pretty normal TV experience. We were interviewed for hours, like we were on Masterchef.

It was incredibly exciting.

At dawn on that first day, I was taken to a paddock and told to wait in the vehicle. There were lots of walkie talkies, lots of texts, a man with a gun, too. This was it, my life was literally over. (I might have made that up).

A chopper arrived.

Last year's contestants. Image via Twitter @imacelebrityau.

In fact, a hover of choppers arrived, landing in fields nearby. So we were all getting picked up at the same time, in our own choppers. Holy Crap, I thought, I AM a celebrity! I was ushered into the back seat, which was disappointing, because who really wants to sit in the back? And that’s when I saw the GoPro pointing at me with the light flashing. That was the moment I realised my life was no longer my own.

We flew around in very large circles for a couple of hours for the chopper formation shots, but never close enough to be able to see who was in the next chopper. Flight of the Valcyries was looping in my head. It was epic.


Then it got really weird. Upon landing, there was no looking around at the other choppers. A car arrived, with the windows blacked out with black plastic. In fact, I was cocooned in a black plastic shell for quite some time, though it’s a mystery how long because my watch had been ‘borrowed’.

Have you seen the movie Taken?

The jungle is just like Taken. Screengrab via Taken movie trailer.

More walkie talkies, more code talk, lots of ‘You may proceed with “the elephant” or whatever my code name was, to the next station.

Make up, no hair for me. ‘Drink? You’re going to have the best time…’ ‘Back in the car, Mr Daddo,’ and finally, after wishing I’d had a proper breakfast, I was released into the house to meet the others.

Wow! I had no idea who a few of them were and am sure as hell they didn’t know me. Bizarre, but we acted our way through it until the cameras went off and we got into the really cool green uniforms. The cameras didn’t really go off, did they?

And because we were all being polite no one ate much. That was a bit stupid. They frisked us like we were criminals hoarding contraband, put us into another chopper and flew us around for an hour before dropping us into the middle of crocodile infested lake.


Listen to Andrew Daddo's full interview with Mia Freedman, below. Post continues after.

On reaching the shore we found our clothes, without socks, so we all got blisters after a two hour hike. What a disaster! But they said it was a mistake. ‘Sorry,’ they went. ‘You’ll just have to live without them.’

They forgot our socks on purpose.

Barry Hall, Daddo and Merv Hughes performing for their fellow celebrities. Image via Twitter @imacelebrityau.

We were deliberately underfed to make us grumpy.

There was nothing to do to try and make us do stuff.

We realised pretty quickly they were smarter than us.

What had we done?

Even though they’d told us it would be hard and hot and tedious and hungry and challenging, I never really believed them. It’ll be fun to watch the new lot find their feet – word is last year was a breeze.

Will you be watching the new season of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here?