The last 48 hours have been very odd for me, not only because I have the flu, but I’ve been taking calls from Malcolm McLaren from Brisbane, the location for yet another series of “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”. He’s not a client of mine but a friend asking for advice. Clearly no one on I’m A Celebrity… is offered so much money for nothing – ITV needed Malcolm, and looking at the list of “celebrities” actually participating, you can see why.
Such an intelligent man as Malcolm is perfectly able to see through this type of show. The fact that ITV still tried to make him take part after he’d voiced his concerns seems ridiculous. The bottom line is that Malcolm had never signed any contract to appear on the show, but ITV were happy to send him to Brisbane, put him up in a five star hotel and have the arrogance to assume they could persuade him at the last minute to appear. ITV and the show’s producers are now dealing with the PR backlash in the tabloids after Malcolm articulated their plot. The counter spin followed claiming that Malcolm was simply a coward and was too afraid to take part once he realised he’d have to take part in bushtucker trials. Of course all the tabloid media are on one massive jolly over in Australia, so they are between a rock and hard place; they don’t want to burst the “I’m A Celebrity…” bubble. They need the content that this show provides and will continue to provide for the next few weeks. What I think is foolish is that ITV began promoting someone for the show when that person hadn’t actually signed a contract to appear. Malcolm’s final decision not to take part was totally his prerogative. But ITV has behaved like a spiteful child and tried to blacken his character to punish him for not participating in what Malcolm felt was more like a rigged film set than the Australian outback.
ITV needs this season of IACGMOH to work on every level. The integrity of the format and salvation of careers rests on this series. Above all, honesty must shine through, but talking to Malcolm about what he has endured convinces me that the production team is a massive herd of pachyderms that are hell bent on powering through the jungle mists, come what may.