Editor-At-Large: The crumble in the jungle starts here

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The Independent Online

By the time you read this, I shall be spending my first night under the glorious starry sky of the southern hemisphere imprisoned with a group of people I honestly wouldn't have marked down as ideal camp companions. Luckily, I know one of my fellow detainees, the glamorous Nancy Sorrell, whose wedding to my pal Vic Reeves I attended earlier this year. I'd only seen Nancy, (now the face of Ann Summers lingerie, but a pole dancer in an earlier existence) clad in a skimpy skirt, bra top and jewelled mules - and that was for a windy beach lunch in Whitstable - and so I walked straight past a gorgeous Grace Kelly lookalike wearing an elegant chignon and a floor-length silk gown at the wedding reception a few months later. Luckily my major faux pas was ironed out when Vic pointed out his new bride before she noticed. Nancy is so glamorous it's amazing - and totally frank about her sex life, telling the tabloids that she's going to miss "nooky" really badly during her spell on I'm a Celeb... and revealing tha

By the time you read this, I shall be spending my first night under the glorious starry sky of the southern hemisphere imprisoned with a group of people I honestly wouldn't have marked down as ideal camp companions. Luckily, I know one of my fellow detainees, the glamorous Nancy Sorrell, whose wedding to my pal Vic Reeves I attended earlier this year. I'd only seen Nancy, (now the face of Ann Summers lingerie, but a pole dancer in an earlier existence) clad in a skimpy skirt, bra top and jewelled mules - and that was for a windy beach lunch in Whitstable - and so I walked straight past a gorgeous Grace Kelly lookalike wearing an elegant chignon and a floor-length silk gown at the wedding reception a few months later. Luckily my major faux pas was ironed out when Vic pointed out his new bride before she noticed. Nancy is so glamorous it's amazing - and totally frank about her sex life, telling the tabloids that she's going to miss "nooky" really badly during her spell on I'm a Celeb... and revealing that she's designing a new range of underwear while she's in the jungle. It seems she plans to make knickers out of leaves - in my case that might require a whole branch-full.

Anyway, I don't feel threatened by Nancy, gorgeous though she may be - I am on a determined mission to snatch the crown John Lydon spurned earlier this year and be crowned "JSP: Queen of the Jungle" in two weeks' time. I'm out to prove you don't have to be blonde, pneumatic or washed-up to succeed in the grisly world of reality TV. I'm striking a blow for crumblie-power.

On my last evening I recorded a radio show with Clive Anderson and Rory Bremner, who were frankly incredulous at my decision to share a camp site with Paul Burrell. Earlier I'd attended lunch at Private Eye where I begged Ian Hislop to let Craig Brown immortalise my jungle stint in the magazine; unattractive though my tropical uniform might be, I still look a lot better in it than Boris Johnson in his frightful jogging shorts and bandanna. He resembles Harry Enfield playing Kevin the slightly overweight teenage skateboarder. No wonder he got the shove off the Tory front bench.

After massive consumption of "units" at my send-off dinner I slept fitfully, waking at 5am, far too early. I got up and packed as many clothes as possible until I reached the top of the bag. If I win, I only need two days' worth of normal non-jungle clothes, one to celebrate in and one to fly home in, but panic set in and I ended up with six skirts, four pairs of trousers, a tennis racket, 10 CDs and four books. Paul O'Grady rang to relay me the "tribute" he had filmed on my behalf - it's just about as sarky as Elton's. With Jo Brand and Neil Tennant also planning to add messages of support, I've got quite a turnout to tell viewers what a bitch I am.

I had a shower and washed my hair before Paddy, the researcher, and the cab arrived. After a lot of rally driving I arrived at Heathrow feeling queasy. Two paparazzi followed me to the gate, snapping away as fellow travellers looked incredulous that this middle-aged women with dishevelled red hair clutching a plastic bag, sporting grubby trainers and creased hiking kit could be anything other than a departing rambler. The paps put a brave face on it, but I didn't take up too much of their time, and they left after telling me Nancy had passed through yesterday looking "lovely" in something "very skimpy".

Paddy told me I have the best filmed tributes, even Joe Pasquale's only got Jasper Carrott. But that's not going to be much use when I'm desperately devising vote-winning charm offensives under the foliage. Text messages of support flood in from Alison Clarkson (Betty Boo) Lulu and Sam Taylor-Wood. What a list of fabulous women, all rooting for me!

On the plane I drank black coffee and Dom Perignon at the same time, sampling all the freebies on offer before they're replaced by kangaroo testicles and cockroach pie. Someone had ordered me a low-carb meal (drat!) obviously concerned I could look six months pregnant on camera. I managed to wash a large portion of caviar down with four glasses of champers and three of white wine, leaving the toast and some carrots. I felt pretty virtuous about that as I donned my free blue "sleep suit", designed by Givenchy, according to the wrapping. I looked like a serial killer, in fact the first-class cabin full of men in blue cotton sleep suits looked like a luxury prison outing. Hopefully another glass of white wine and a sleeping pill would knock me out for six hours.

Disaster. As I'm nodding off, I realise I've forgotten any swimwear. Damn. Perhaps Singapore Duty Free can come up with something - unlikely as most shoppers there are size 8 and 5ft tall. I'm more likely to pick up a pot of Crème de la Mer than a size 14-16 roomy all-concealing fat-clenching swimsuit. Perhaps I'll have to doctor my blue convict sleep suit.

I was planning to smuggle sleeping pills into the jungle hidden in cling film in a body orifice, but I've forgotten the cling film. Will have to utilise a shower hat. Sleep is troubled, I dream of swimming in white cotton pants, I am a laughing stock, Nancy looks on in a little leaf bikini emphasising her cellulite-free midriff...

I slept for about five hours, and then disembarked in Singapore but couldn't find a swimsuit anywhere. I rang the production manager in Australia and begged her to root out something "colourful" and simple in several sizes - because if I carry on eating and drinking for another seven hours in a plane I'll resemble Michelin woman. After a shower I visited the Happy Feet Spa where Michael gave my feet a punishing 30-minute massage. Now I'm ready for anything, even Brian Harvey's singing! When Michael pressed a particularly painful spot by my big toe and murmured something about liver and digestion, I feigned sleep.

Back home, the The People had rung my partner at his restaurant for a quote. He was so shocked he just said "no comment" - now they'll think we've had a row. I told him to break the habit of a lifetime and try and sound supportive.

I contemplate the ghastly array of swimwear laid out on the dining table of my palatial suite at the Versace Hotel. Shame I'm being got up at 5.30am to be taken to meet the other contestants in a condo down the road as my lodging here consists of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a split-level living area with kitchen, and a giant roof terrace with barbie and outdoor Jacuzzi. It's already 10pm - how much of it can I use?

When you turn on the television tonight, you may see a woman wearing a lurid red and pink nylon ruched one-piece alongside Nancy in her leafy thong and Sophie in her perky bra. At least I'll be hard to miss - wish me luck!

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