Surviving life in the jungle camp: An exclusive guide

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

As 'I'm a Celebrity...' returns to TV tonight, IoS columnist and ex-contestant Dom Joly offers the latest batch some advice

So I'm a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here! is back. I'm currently in the wilds of northern California so I won't be tuning in just yet, but I thought I'd give the new campers some advice.

On first meeting your fellow camp-mates, there will be several whom you do not recognise. Do not give this away as this will greatly offend. Simply shake their hand and say something like "I'm a huge fan of your... stuff". They will soon shoot their mouth off about what it is they do and you can fill in the blanks.

Keep quiet for a while and assess your situation. I wasn't very good at this and nearly got booted out first. Use this time to see who will become the camp cook, and who are the "Alphas". Offer to assist the camp cook, as this will make them your ally and you can pinch some scraps of food. Do not make enemies of Alphas as they will get their little gang to start bitching about you and paranoia is high in there.

If you are going to smuggle something in, don't blow it by sharing with other contestants. Nice as this might be, this is when you get caught.

The main enemy is boredom. Try to keep yourself busy. Shaun Ryder suggested that we all try to nick stuff off the production crew and this was a fabulous idea. We'd spend hours crawling around trying to nick pointless things like gaffer tape. We had no need for these things but it gave us a purpose and a little feeling of control over our surroundings.

There is nowhere in camp where you are not being filmed. Do not make the Nigel Havers mistake of presuming that the shower is off-limits unless you are wearing a bikini and are called Myleene Klass. They will show your bottom and more to the UK public.

Try to keep your phobias and fears under wraps. The production team members are sadists; some have come straight from working in Guantanamo Bay and they thrive on your discomfort. If you have a pathological fear of spiders, pretend you love them; otherwise you will soon have hundreds of them crawling all over you.

Go to the Bush Telegraph in the middle of the night. Often you get a lone producer on emergency duty and you can get more out of them than the normal "voices". News from home – anything from sports results to current affairs – is like gold dust and makes you a valuable commodity in camp conversation for a while.

Do not try to escape the camp. There are some quite creepy New Zealand SAS members hidden all around the site and they have a habit of stepping out in front of you suddenly from nowhere. They will not talk to you however hard you might try.

Bedding wise, you have a choice of bunk or hammock. I chose a hammock because I thought that fewer "things" would crawl all over me. It made little difference as "things" tend to fall on you from above, so take the bunk as it's much more comfy.

If there is still the lone sofa up on a platform, sit there and stare into one of the rocks containing cameramen. One in particular often forgets to put up his camouflage window and you can watch him doing peculiar things before he notices and shuts it off.

Do not spend prolonged periods of time staring at the sky. Not only is this very boring telly but it doesn't pay to think too much in there as it can really start to do your head in. Obviously, if you are from The Only Way is Essex, don't worry about this as "thinking" is not really your bag.

If there is another karaoke challenge, go for a Pet Shop Boys song. They are almost always able to be carried off by simply reciting the lyrics in a monotone manner and the producers will ignore you in favour of someone who actually tries to sing.

When you are eventually booted out, do not be freaked out by all the people in the hotel who appear to know you very well. These people have been having a one-way relationship with you from behind their cameras for three weeks and they often forget that you were almost totally unaware of their existence.

Lastly, you are not on a "journey". This is not an "incredible moment" in your life. You are on a very well-made TV roller coaster. Whatever you think when you get out, you will forget almost everything within a month and return to your usual, spoilt, egotistical self. Enjoy.

'Keep your clothes on if you're over 40'

Janet Street-Porter, our irrepressible editor-at-large, looks back at her time on the show in 2004...

Best moment

Winning nine stars for my first trial, in spite of receiving several nasty snake bites. Viewers didn't vote for me to do more trials. They generally pick on weepers.

Worst moment

Listening to members of the camp waffle utter drivel 24/7. Paul Burrell rhapsodising about Diana and the royal corgis and how the Queen was "really normal". Natalie Appleton continually sobbing that the trees could "kill" her.

Friends for life?

Certainly not. I failed to recognise Sophie Anderton a week later. What did I learn: new levels of tolerance; campfire cooking with no condiments; how to catch an eel using my knickers. I skinned and cooked the little bugger – no one would eat it except me.

Top tips for new campers

Don't admit any phobias beforehand – they'll be exploited. Don't offer to cook – you'll be in charge of portion control. The cameras are never off – always wear your undies for nocturnal toilet trips. Keep all your clothes on to wash if you're over 40. Don't whisper anything you'll regret later – there are microphones everywhere.

Biggest worry

Freddie Starr will try everyone's patience to the max. I had to endure Brian Harvey from E17 and Freddie is far more "unpredictable". Watch out for bolshie new arrivals; will they include Charlotte Church now that Sinitta allegedly cried off at the last minute?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: 3D CAD Designer - Exhibition Stands

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Rapid growth has seen a number ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Recruitment Genius: Delegate Telesales Executive - OTE £21,000 uncapped

£16000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: High quality, dedicated Delegat...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor