Robin Scott-Elliot: Navratilova's 'snugglebug' blows winds of change through jungle

View From The Sofa: I'm A Celebrity, ITV 1/England v All Blacks Live, Sky Sports 2 Saturday

When it comes to light entertainment it would be foolish to argue with Ant or Dec. Last week it was Dec, or Ant, who declared: "Farting is funny."

ITV may well already be working on an idea for a connected talent show, working title, Hum with the Wind. Taking a lead from the jolly Geordie duo, I have a friend who once broke wind while confined in a small room behind a television studio with Martina Navratilova. Funny? My friend begs to differ. She blushed, Navratilova's expression tightened from the everyday wasp-chewing to resemble someone told they would one day meet Timmy Mallett.



Her worst fears – Navratilova's, not my friend's, which were pretty much dealt with back then – have come true. She's met Mallett and has been stuck in the Australian jungle with him and the rest of the celebrity flotsam for the past week. While others, including Ant, or Dec, have wondered why a nine-times Wimbledon winner would get involved with this (thoroughly entertaining) public humiliation in pursuit of a lead in Puss in Boots in Wolverhampton's Christmas panto, Navratilova has greeted each challenge with the same inscrutable expression familiar to legions of opponents on tennis courts around the globe. She was shut in a coffin and had a variety of creepy-crawlies dumped on her. "Oh," she said and held her nose as if someone had just, well, you know.

In camp there was an ill wind blowing, an endless rumble in the jungle. Joe Swash, him off of EastEnders, has a wind problem – he's an 80-a-day man (his own figures) with a habit of cocking his leg to ensure everyone has the pleasure of knowing what he's up to. Joe deserves to be taken deep into the jungle and left there while loudspeakers blast "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" at him day and night. But who is Navratilova's favourite jungle mate? What looked like a smile explored her face. "My snugglebug," said the best female tennis player the jungle has ever seen.

She really did say snugglebug and her snugglebug (really, she did) was Joe off of EastEnders.

The winds of change have been whistling through the England rugby camp as well, but to less startling effect – unless you're the scoreboard operator at Twickenham. Some of the gnarled old pros who fill Sky's pundit roles would have made short work of a week or two in the jungle: Sean Fitzpatrick has no doubt chewed on many a Wallaby testicle in his time. And they were not about to spare England after another southern hemisphere walloping. The king of this jungle, the Christopher Biggins as it were, is Stuart Barnes.

The excellent and entertaining Barnes has a strong claim to be the best sporting pundit on television, which is just as well as he is not averse to the sound of his own voice. He talks a lot, leaving Miles Harrison, his commentator, ample time to pop down and buy the half-time KitKats and pints of best. It doesn't take the wisdom of Barnes to recognise that the All Blacks are the best in the business, although as he pointed out they do manage to choke when the World Cup comes around.

They weren't great on Saturday, but were still a class above their hosts. And they had a secret weapon. While Dan Carter's boot was misfiring, his backside, according to Barnes after one England attack was cut short by a cunningly placed rear end, was brilliant. Which brings us back to where we came in.

Marketing men try to bowl over seniors

* In these days of belt-tightening, sport has been pretty much untouched. But the bad times may not be far away, with sponsors taking extra care to place their cash where their message will be best received. The sponsors of bowls' International Open in Burgess Hill this week are Co-operative Funeralcare.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Health & Safety Consultant

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic and exciting opport...

Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'