A crew cut for Hollywood heart-throb's jungle role

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Hollywood smoothie George Hamilton has revealed how he prepared for his stint in the I'm A Celebrity jungle - with a "seven dollar" crew cut.

The ex-Dynasty star is one of 11 contestants taking part in the ITV1 show who include soap stars, home makeover specialists and former chart acts.

Ex-EastEnder Lucy Benjamin, snooker ace Jimmy White and former Page Three girl-turned-singer Samantha Fox are among the other figures who will slum it in the Australian jungle when the show returns this Sunday.

Also facing the Bushtucker Trials, heat and creepy-crawlies will be TV chef Gino D'Acampo, Strictly dancer Camilla Dallerup, Hollyoaks star Stuart Manning, and interior designers Colin and Justin.

The I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! line-up is completed by ex-Mis-Teeq singer Sabrina Washington and Channel 4's How Clean Is Your House? presenter Kim Woodburn.

Producers say the ninth series will be the toughest challenge yet "as the boundaries are pushed to the limit".

The contestants will once again be isolated from the outside world with basic food rations as they cope with the occasionally hostile environment and each other for three weeks in the hunt for the king or queen of the jungle.

For many past participants, the experience is a chance to revitalise their careers and could lead to lucrative advertising careers.

It also gives the public a chance to see behind the mask as celebrities display the occasional tantrum and are seen without their usual glamour, not to mention the stomach-churning challenges.

Ant and Dec will again host the series and the public will have the chance to not only choose the celeb who should be forced to nibble insects or brave a tank of snakes, but also who should leave the show.

Hamilton, 70, revealed that he convinced friends he was enjoying a spell of glamour as he kept his jungle adventure secret.

"None of my celebrity friends will be watching as they currently think I'm on a yacht in the South of France with a silk robe on and a glass of champagne in my hand, surrounded by beautiful women," he said.

The usually debonair actor said he was dressing down for the occasion: "I know everyone is expecting me to turn up in a tuxedo and look all dashing but that's over with. Before I left I went to a barber and had a seven-dollar military haircut."

Actress Benjamin is missing her daughter's birthday to be on the show.

She said: "It will be heartbreaking but it will be great for her and her dad because I'm always butting in or being a control-freak."

White hoped the experience would lead to him slimming down: "I've got the Masters coming up in January, so when I come out of the jungle hopefully I'll be able to fit into my old suits."

This year's series will support the charity Malaria No More UK with 15p from each 50p phone vote helping to fight one of the world's most serious, preventable illnesses.

Natalka Znak, executive producer and controller of factual entertainment at ITV Studios, said: "I am delighted with the celebrities that have agreed to take part this year. They are a fascinating and fun group, who have no idea of what's about to hit them.

"The surprises come thick and fast in this series and there's a shock in store right from the word go. I can't wait to see how they cope with it all and how they will get on with each other."

Further coverage on ITV2 will be hosted by Caroline Flack, last year's winner Joe Swash and comedian Russell Kane.

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