I’m A Celebrity’s biggest bad boys who used show to cash in after sex tape shame, cheating scandals and soap sackings | The Sun

THE mass jungle exodus is well and truly underway, with four celebrities already booted out of camp.

Just one female – Lioness Jill Scott – remains on this year's I'm A Celebrity, with fans having noticed it's becoming a trend for the women to be evicted first.


But there's another pattern emerging, which also tends to favour the blokes.

The jungle seems to be the number one place to go if you're a male celebrity seeking redemption.

The show's star signings this year were MP Matt Hancock and comedian Seann Walsh – both embroiled in high profile cheating scandals exposed by The Sun – and singer Boy George, who served time in jail for assault and false imprisonment.

And they're certainly not the first famous fellas to sign up to I'm A Celebrity in the hope of winning back the public's favour and re-launching their career.

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Brand and culture expert Nick Ede tells The Sun: “I’m A Celebrity can give controversial figures a second life or a lifeline due to them being seen in a different way."

And it works – so far Matt and Seann have survived the public vote, with Boy George the fourth celeb to be evicted last night.

But there is another side to it, notes Nick, as these contestants' plans to change perceptions about them can lead to reduced airtime for others – particularly when it comes to voting for who does the trials.

Matt endured a string of brutal Bushtucker Trials, voted for by the public – which has arguably helped him emerge as one of the one of the most popular campmates after he took them on with enthusiasm.

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"Matt is desperate to show the ‘real him'," says Nick – after the married MP was caught snogging his aide Gina Coladangelo last year, breaking his own Covid guidelines which incensed millions of Brits who were diligently following the rules.

Marketing exec Gina – who is now his partner – has reportedly quit her job after just six weeks, with the couple planning to set up a media career when he’s out of the jungle.

Meanwhile comic Seann went into the jungle in the shadow of his cheating on his then-girlfriend with his married professional dance partner Katya Jones on Strictly.

He took the opportunity to tell his campmates – and viewers – how sorry he is for what happened early on in the show, and expressed his deep desire to "move on".

"Seann is seeking redemption following his Strictly past," Nick observes.

While some fans are annoyed he has avoided doing many Bushtucker Trials during his time in the show, he is now one of the favourites to make it to the final, thanks to his natural wit and cheekiness.

And immediately after he leaves the jungle, he’s heading to London’s Soho Theatre for five nights in December to perform stand-up in Seann Walsh: Is Dead, Happy Now?

Previous male contestants who went in as villains also came out with a brand new image and fanbase, as we reveal…

Mark Wright


When The Only Way Is Essex first hit our screens in 2010, Mark Wright was the ultimate villain, treating his on-off fiancee Lauren Goodger badly – to the point she once pushed him in a swimming pool.

But as soon as he entered I’m A Celebrity in 2011, the public's opinion of him did a complete U-turn.

He was utterly charming, showing another side to his personality, and ended up coming runner-up to McFly’s Dougie Poynter.

Mark has managed to carve an extremely successful career since, having landed tons of lucrative brand deals, and now presents a radio show on Heart FM.

He also bagged TV beauty Michelle Keegan – who he married in 2015 – and between them they've amassed a £10 million fortune.

Joe Swash


Joe Swash was just 19 when he joined the cast of EastEnders as Mickey Miller in 2003, so it’s no surprise he was going out every night boozing and chatting up girls.

Talking of his money woes, Joe said previously: "I was chucking it away on stuff I didn’t need. I went out every night and had a house with a mortgage."

In 2008 Joe was axed from the BBC soap, which led him to go into the I’m A Celeb jungle – which may have been the best decision he could have made.

The Cockney lad was crowned Jungle King, winning over the public with his natural charm and funny personality, and went on to host the show’s spin-off Extra Camp.

He’s been on tons of TV shows since, including Dancing On Ice – which he won – and met future wife Stacey Solomon.

The couple are now worth £6.5million thanks to all their various brand deals and presenting work.

Joe is even about to release a cookbook called Joe’s Kitchen and front a BBC documentary called Teens In Care.

Vernon Kay


There was a time when Vernon Kay was barely off our screens, hosting TV shows like Family Fortunes and Splash!

But after he was caught sexting Rhian Sugden behind his Strictly presenter wife Tess Daly’s back, the work seemed to dry up.

In 2020, I'm A Celeb was a lifeline – Vernon was paid a massive £250,000 to go into the castle, and won the public over to finish third.

He was quickly handed a comeback show to present called Game of Talents, which was axed after one series. He now guest presents This Morning.

Danny Miller

When Danny Miller went into the I’m A Celebrity castle in Wales last year, he was best known for playing Aaron Livesy in Emmerdale.

But there’d also been stories about him playing away from ex Kirsty Leigh Porter during their on-off relationship of five years.

These included him allegedly bedding a prostitute and reportedly having a fling with his Emmerdale co-star Isabel Hodgins.

At the time Isabel was dating their mutual co-star Michael Parr, who played bad boy Ross Barton.

Despite all of this, Danny came out on top, winning I’m A Celebrity, and he was tipped to make £1 million with brand deals flooding in, including from Boohoo.

While this never actually seemed to materialise, he did show off a new £38k Mercedes car he bought on social media soon after his win.

He also shut down his acting company with £120k debt in July – and has since returned to Emmerdale.

Kieron Dyer 

Ex-Premier League star Kieron Dyer went into I’m A Celeb in 2015 to prove he wasn’t the spoilt footballer everyone thought.

At the time, a search of his name online brought up a sex tape he’d filmed alongside fellow former England stars Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard in Ayia Napa in 2000, a speeding ban in a flash Porsche, and his infamous fight on the pitch with teammate Lee Bowyer at Newcastle.

“Yeah, of course I regret those days,” he said at the time.

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“I was 19 or 20 and earning fortunes, having grown up from a poor background. I did end up in trouble but you grow and you learn.”

Kieron ended up coming fourth in the jungle and went on to appear in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins in 2021.

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