Mark Jermin blogs about I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! as he supports pal Charlie Brooks in Australia
SWANSEA stage school owner Mark Jermin said flying out to Australia in support of his best friend Charlie Brooks in the hit show I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! is an experience he'll never forget.
Read Mark's blog here on thisissouthwales as he spills the beans on his jungle experience.
The theatrical agent joined Charlie's seven-year-old daughter Kiki and the actress's mum Roe to keep a close watch on his pal - from the comfort of a top-notch hotel - as the Eastenders star camps out Down Under in the popular show.
Mark said the pair have been friends since they were in their teens.
"We have spent many Christmases together in London and overseas and now this adventure in Oz is one of the most exciting yet," Mark said.
After a brief stop in Dubai, 'team Brooks' were greeted by ITV team on Tuesday after the 23-hour journey before the paparazzi descended.
"On arrival at the airport there are paparazzi everywhere and journalists asking questions, which is all being filmed for the TV show," he said.
Following an hour-long journey, the group weren't disappointed when they arrived at "that hotel you've seen on TV."
"Pangs of guilt cross my mind as I stand, gazing out onto the pool which has a man-made beached island in the middle, as I think of my friend, hungry, dirty and living in the bush," he said.
"But this lasts seconds as we are offered arrivals drinks and all smile broadly at each other.
"As we sip cocktails by the pool we eye up other guests thinking “could that be Helen Flannigan’s parents?”, "what does Nadine’s partner look like?"
"However all will be revealed tomorrow, as it is the official meet and greet party for all family and friends which ITV are hosting."
Mark said Wednesday was spent meeting friends and families of the other celebrities.
"Nadine's partner Chris introduces himself and proposes a wager that "Nadine will be evicted first!" from the public vote off which begins tomorrow, we reassure him with a "but she is doing really well," he said.
"A few glasses of champagne later, we are ready for bed. My body clock has not adjusted to the change and with tomorrows very early start will not help either.
"We have to meet at 4.30am to travel with the other contestant’s friends and family into camp to watch the show… live and witness the first eviction. We hope it won't be Charlie."
Thursday, November 22:
"It's day three and it’s a very early start as all friends and family meet at 4.30am in the lobby of the hotel to be transported into… the jungle.
"We have to wear sturdy, covered shoes, no open sandals. I am guess there maybe bugs or worse lurking in the bush!
"We all load on the coach ready for the one hour journey into the jungle. It’s a good opportunity to chat and meet other family and friends in a less formal way than our initial meet and greet gathering at the hotel.
"There are no cameras allowed as we all settle into what is known as 'the social', an area where we all sit and watch the show live as it is transmitted and have breakfast together.
"We are told to stay in the marquee holding area and not to wander off as there are dangerous snakes and spiders… this is a reality check!
"Charlie is sleeping amongst these bugs and creatures. This is no TV set or staged environment, it’s very real. I feel nervous and I am simply sat safely in a marquee tucking into a full cooked breakfast so who knows how the starved celebs feel living in the midst of the jungle madness.
"We are all glued to the TV screens and react politely to each other with knowing nods as the drama unfolds and then it’s the first live eviction.
"Although I feel quietly confident my mate Charlie will be safe, there is still that moment of doubt and the tension is heightened, with ITV2 cameras filming you and the dramatic 'it could be you' music.
"But atlas she is saved by the generous general public and poor Nadine is the first to be voted off - no real shock there!
"We travel back to the hotel and the mood is much more relaxed and jovial. I am guessing deep down everyone is relieved that their family or friend is popular with the public - phew!
"At 11am Nadine arrives back at the hotel in to the mayhem of media.
"The cameras and sound booms surround the tiny blonde as she enters clutching her partner Chris’ hand.
"She is directed to her room and I know she has a busy itinerary of press interviews, more filming and not forgetting dealing with back lash of the reaction of her going in there in the first place. Having spoken to her partner Chris, I don't think they were expecting the tidal wave of negative press.
"We grab some lunch but are told to be on standby back at the hotel by 5pm as the celebrities all have a trial to face today and the winner will receive a phone call from their loved ones as a reward.
"This really excites Charlie’s seven-year-old daughter Kiki who is no stranger to loving centre stage and keeps her fingers and toes crossed her mum will rise to the challenge!
"I had a quick hello from evicted Nadine who is now staying in the hotel with us but is being constantly followed by camera crew and ITV staff. Let’s hope she is as popular and in demand when she gets home!
"We turn in for the night at 9pm ready for another early start tomorrow."