A knock-out blow, but Janet is the undisputed Queen of the Jungle

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The Independent Online

She was never going to play the role of conventional reality television contestant. With a repertoire of insults as colourful as her red hair and an insight into what happens behind the cameras, it was inevitable she would create havoc with her jungle chums.

But yesterday, the reign of Janet Street-Porter, the undisputed queen of the jungle, came to an end when she was voted off ITV's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

As the sole remaining woman in the show, her departure means that Paul Burrell, Princess Diana's former butler, Fran Cosgrove, the nightclub owner, and the comedian Joe Pasquale, were left to fight it out in the Australian rainforest.

But it was clear last night that many viewers would lament the loss of the most entertaining - and undeniably bitchy - motormouth to have hit the reality TV show.

Last night, as she described with trademark candour how she had initially viewed her fellow contestants as a "bunch of deadbeats". Janet said: "I have raised a huge amount of money for charity. In a perverse, sick kind of way, I actually enjoyed it."

It was on day one that she barked "Can it!" to the tearful pop star Natalie Appleton en route to the jungle campside. From that moment, the outside world gained a fearsome insight into the unrelenting techniques that guaranteed Janet's success as a broadcaster, TV producer and editor-at-large of The Independent on Sunday.

Whingeing was banned as one celebrity after another was shot down by comments fired like bullets that veered from the dangerously hilarious to the frankly terrifying. And it appeared that the public loved it. The fiery antics of Street-Porter made the other contestants look less interesting than a glass of tap-water and she escaped eviction - until last night.

The decision to vote off the final remaining woman on the programme brought to an end what has recently become a popular national pastime. It was Janet who refined in the most distinguished manner the art of Burrell-baiting.

While the other contestants faded into the background, Janet and Burrell repeatedly clashed over a raft of issues from cooking dinner to his services with the Royal Family. While an underlying ideological conflict may have been the catalyst, the pair bickered like an old married couple, providing hours of entertainment for viewers.

Last night, after her eviction, she described how she was more than aware of the value of her clashes with her sparring partner. "How many rows can I have with Paul Burrell to entertain you guys?" she said. "Thank you from bringing me out here."

Janet followed Sophie Anderton, Huggy Bear, Sheila Ferguson, Vic Reeves and wife Nancy Sorrell in being voted off the hit show, while Brian Harvey and Natalie Appleton walked out after being unable to cope with the difficult living conditions.

Last night, Janet - who once wrote that I'm a Celebrity had "the appeal of last night's chicken pie" - made it clear that despite her outbursts, she had no regrets.

Speaking after her eviction, she described the experience as "fantastic" - despite the behaviour of a number of unnamed fellow campers.

"I found out more about the other people... had a rapport with them and it was not easy in the beginning - there was so much whingeing going," she said.

"It was something I could write about and learn from. I learnt from the experience. I learnt I can live on less.

"Many people in their 50s, you talk about the past ... I had to establish a rapport with people I have never known."

But while many fans are likely to be disappointed at the departure of the fiery-tongued jungle queen, it is more than likely that Burrell as well as the snakes and the spiders will breath a sigh of relief at the prospect of a peaceful few days.


Before entering the camp: "I wanted to see whether I could deal with torture - listening to Paul Burrell wittering on about recipes that Diana loved."

Cutting Brian Harvey down to size: "Do you think that farting on television looks intelligent?"

Diverting her attention to Sophie Anderton: "Shall I start screaming the name of my boyfriend? No, because I have more dignity than that."

On herself: "I like to think I'm a bit of a role model ... it's called ageing with attitude."

On meeting camels in a bushtucker trial: "[They] had bigger teeth than me - and that's saying something."