I have become totally institutionalised after my time in the Australian jungle and it's taking me quite some time to readjust. I find myself asking permission for everything – my kids look at me in amused disbelief as I ask them whether I can use the loo. At night, I have terrible dreams that involve Gillian McKeith sporting a set of pants made from tarantulas – she is screaming and demanding I wash a spoon so that she can eat some tofu .... I wake up sweating and frightened.
I swung myself out of bed this morning and stumbled towards the loo stark bollock naked. Suddenly, I remembered the cameras and dived back into bed before remembering that I was safe at home. I eat everything very slowly and protect my plates of food if anybody approaches my table. Fellow diners looked on aghast as I fought quite aggressively with a waitress who tried to take my empty bowl of pasta from me before I could lick it clean in my favourite Cirencester restaurant.
I have also become something of a kleptomaniac. In the jungle, we would steal anything we could get our hands on while out of the camp on trials. Most of the stuff was useless, but it gave us a sense of purpose and control. On the day I left camp, I had a cache of five ballpoint pens, a permanent marker, some wire and an empty water bottle hidden in my sleeping bag. Shaun Ryder's last words to anybody leaving the camp were, "Make sure you nick summat' off the bastards."
One day, I was at the very edge of the camp, down in the valley where we collected logs, and spotted a lean-to that normally housed two of the New Zealand SAS soldiers who encircled the camp both to keep us from leaving and to stop paparazzi from entering. There was nobody in the structure and I could see a sandwich, a bottle of cola and a book, just sitting there. My instinctive reaction was to steal it but, just as I approached, I saw a remote camera swing towards me and, fearing punitive repercussions, I scuttled back to base like a rat, empty-handed.
Rats were very much on our minds, as there were several that scampered through camp every day, safe in the knowledge that we were not allowed to catch and eat them after "ratgate" the year before, in which several of the contestants had cooked one. We were under strict orders not to kill anything. This was very annoying, as there were some tempting looking crayfish in the creek and a huge, fat bush turkey that wandered about oblivious to the drool that slid down our faces every time we saw it. We named the turkey Philip, and we became convinced that the producers would make us slaughter and eat it as our final challenge. This really would not have been a problem, which is probably why they opted for kangaroo vagina and roasted tarantula instead. My butcher in Fairford is going to give me some very odd looks the next time I come in – the tastiest things we ate in the jungle were crocodile foot, goat and camel. At my next dinner party, guests are going to be in for quite a treat.
My real speciality is smoky water. We had to boil all the water we drank over the fire and then pour it into the containers. This gave it a sickening taste of woody smoke. It started to make me feel rather ill but I fully expect it to appear as part of the expanding Gillian McKeith food range (available in all cranky old witch aisles). I've had to turn the radio off at home, as that woman seems never to be off the airwaves drowning in her own delusions. It's enough to make you faint.