Tennis ace faces the oddest competition of her career on 'I'm a Celebrity ...'

Jungle's Martina will be hoping they call 'Out!'

On the face of it, it is a bit of a struggle to understand what Martina Navratilova and the other contestants in the new series of I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! are going to have in common.

Among the 52-year-old tennis ace's achievements are 18 Grand Slam titles and the longest winning streak in tennis history. Among her jungle rival Nicola McLean's achievements are being engaged to a Peterborough United midfield player. Since the height of her career in professional tennis, Navratilova has written three successful thrillers. Since the height of her career presenting Channel 4's The Word, fellow I'm a Celebrity... companion Dani Behr has done a voice-over on the Virgin Atlantic website. Billie Jean King called Navratilova "the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who has ever lived". Fans of her new friend Joe Swash call him "that bloke out of EastEnders".

What on earth will they find to talk about through those long nights in hammocks in the Australian jungle?

It is easy to see what the programme makers, her camp mates and the viewing public will get out of Navratilova: she lists her special skills as hand-to-eye coordination and telling jokes, which with her strength, agility and insider knowledge of eastern European politics will make her both handy and entertaining. But what, exactly, is she expecting to get out of the experience?

She has said she has no time for whiners, ignorant people or anyone who doesn't listen. Oh dear. Is the next revelation going to be a violent allergy to any part of a male kangaroo? Ms Navratilova admits she has never seen I'm a Celebrity. Unconfirmed sources say she has been paid £30,000 for spending weeks in a jungle clearing with has-beens, nonentities and Esther Rantzen.

It is not enough! Navratilova earned an estimated $21.6m in her tennis career and is an international sports commentator and best-selling writer. She has houses in Florida and Colorado. Like the American actress Traci Bingham, who said it was "truly an honour" to be invited on the show in 2006, having never seen it, she is in for a shock.

For her fellow contestants on the annual ITV spectacular, there is more at stake. Naturally, each thinks he or she will become immeasurably more popular when the public finally sees "the real me". Sadly, this is not true. For David Gest, who came fourth in 2006, it was a calculated risk: he had nowhere lower to sink. By contrast, in 2004 Natalie Appleton started off as a cute blonde from a relatively successful girl band. We now know her as a paranoid little weirdo. Her career did not prosper. Instead of encouraging bets on the likely winner, bookies should draw up odds on the likely increase or damage to a contestant's earning potential. Esther Rantzen, starting at about 50 per cent popularity, could go either way. Nicola McLean can hardly get any less stellar. Robert Kilroy-Silk might beat the odds and leave even more despised than he started.

Martina, on the other hand, is an enigma. If she has any sense she will stay that way, and leave the jungle before she starts.

Bushtucker partners

Brian Paddick The ex-Met honcho received some 10 per cent of first-preference votes for London Mayor. Can he get less popular?

Carly Zucker The fitness instructor and ... that's it.

Dani Behr According to her website, she has one of the most recognisable voices in the UK. Stand by to hear a lot more of it.

Esther Rantzen Outspoken older women can do well, but our own Janet Street-Porter, a former contestant, says Esther is "too dreary".

George Takai At 71, he is the oldest ever contestant.

Joe Swash Known for his nice-guy role in 'EastEnders', he says: "When I'm bored I aggravate people for pleasure." Get Him Out!

Nicola McLean She may be smart. She says: "I don't think people are going to know who I am."

Robert Kilroy-Silk
Sacked from the BBC for lashing out at Arabs, he may think he can't get less popular.

Simon Webbe
Making women swoon will not be a problem for the former member of the band Blue.

Arts and Entertainment
Keith from The Office ten years on

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams prepares to enter the House of Black and White as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones season five

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Albert Hammond Junior of The Strokes performs at the Natural History Museum on July 6, 2006 in London, England.

music
Arts and Entertainment
Howard Mollison, as played by Michael Gambon
tv review
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech

The best TV shows and films coming to the service

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Muscling in: Noah Stewart and Julia Bullock in 'The Indian Queen'

opera
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003