I’m A Celeb signs up Arlene Phillips as she becomes ‘oldest contestant ever’

Former Strictly come dancing judge Dame Arlene Phillips has been lined up to become the oldest contestant ever to take part in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

The 78-year-old star – who was honoured by the Queen earlier this year for services to dance and charity – will also make history by being the first Dame to appear on the show.

Prior to her casting as a campmate, Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley, who was 77 when he appeared in 2017, was the previous oldest ever contestant.

He was closely followed by Harry Redknapp was 71 when he was crowned King of the Jungle in 2018 and Caitlyn Jenner, who was 70 when she signed up in 2019.

However, Arlene will miss out on the sunny Australian climate her predecessors enjoyed, instead she will swap the outback for chilly Gwrych Castle in North Wales due to Covid-19 travel restrictions preventing a return to Australia for a second year running.

A source told The Mirror that Arlene's endless supply of energy and tough personality will get her through anything.

They said: "Arlene is strong and tough and her energy is boundless.

"No doubt she’ll have the group dancing around the campfire in a bid to beat the cold and keep morale high. Should be fun."

Award-winning choreographer Arlene recently admitted that she is ready for new challenges ahead of the launch of her new musical The Cher Show in 2022.

She said: "I now want to do things that are totally out of my comfort zone."

It seems Arlene could get her wish, after last year's I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! third place runner-up Vernon Kay said he believes the 2021 campmates are in for a shock as things turn more "vicious" on the show.

He said: “I’ve heard that it’s going to be more vicious, it’s going to be on a bigger scale. And they’re going to be doing lots more activities.

"I’ve heard this year’s trials are going to be out and about – more of the countryside.”

Vernon also thinks while he and his campmates all got on pretty well, things might be different this time around as the mood of the country reflects in their on-screen behaviour.

He continued: “We all got on – everybody says the tone was perfect. I think that’s a reflection of where we were as a nation, and I think this one will be a reflection of where we are this time.

"We’re back, and it’s going to be more gross and more aggressive.”

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