How did you find the experience?
I liked it. See, I’m a bit of a slow learner to say the least, so it takes me a while to adapt, but I loved it. Whilst you’re at it and doing it, you don’t realise and I was thinking once I left, god yeah there were some great moments in there. I was over the moon.
Before you went in, you said one of the reasons you said yes was that you had never been to South Africa, how did you find it?
Well I’ve just been trapped in the camp. It’s not like I’ve been out doing a day trip exploring the bush. But I found the bit I was in great, the bush is amazing.
You entered the camp with Janice Dickinson and Paul Burrell, had you met them before?
No, I’d never met them before but I found them to be great people. I mean, Janice is on my level. She’s as mad as a bag of bouncing frogs. Which is cool by me. And Paul is a wonderful human being. He’s a miner’s son. He’s a working class lad and as hard as nails. He’s a geezer.
How did you find the Hell Holes trial going into camp?
It was fun, I thought it was great. I was at the back of the raft like a gondola in Venice. That’s where my head was at. I’m on a gondola in Venice and I’m just going to put my hand into some freaky stuff. I found it good, a bit of fun. I didn’t realise I was having fun until I left camp and thought about it because at the time, you’re just doing your stuff and all that. But it was really good once you have time to reflect.
Were there any campmates you really bonded with?
Phil. He’s MAD Phil. I love Phil. And Fatima. And of course, later on Andy. I’m a lot older than Andy, 20 or 30 years, but me and Andy went to the same primary school, junior school and the same secondary school. His mother and father live two minutes around the corner from me, he lives 15 minutes away from me and we had to meet in South Africa! How mad’s that? I watch him all the time on Coronation Street but we have never met before. What do they say, ten degrees of separation in the world?
Do you think you’ve made some friendships for life with your other campmates?
Well I certainly know with Andy, we both go and eat with our families in the same restaurants in Salford. We go to the same supermarket….so we will definitely be meeting up with his family and his kids and all that. When I came out, Phil asked me to tell his wife that he loves her to bits and he misses her. Even though Phil is down South, I’m down quite a lot and we’re definitely meeting up. I really wanted to take Phil home with me. Phil can be my buddy and I could have taken Paul home with me to speak for me as he is such an eloquent speaker.
Were you surprised to see your old campmate Gillian McKeith?
To be honest, I wasn’t too surprised to see Gillian. She made such an impact last time I thought, if anyone is coming back, she’ll be there. The only difference is I’m 12 years more mature, I’m such a mature guy now [laughs]. I’m a mature dude now, not like I was 12 years ago. I was all peaceful and nice with Gillian as soon as she walked in. I think she was a little bit ‘woo’, a little bit ‘whey’ as she had all these memories going on. But we got on. We went and did a Chest Challenge together and then I obviously picked her for this last Trial. You know, Gillian’s Gillian. I mean, last time, I didn’t not like Gillian. I kept telling her that.
How did you find Savannah Scrub?
To me, when I got in there you could see it was a little bit of a short-term camp. Ten people in that, the place would have folded like a pack of cards in ten minutes. But for the three of us, I liked it. You had a beautiful river there, and a rock face like Mount Rushmore but in Scrub camp, in Camp Crap. But instead of presidents’ faces, we saw bulldog faces, women’s faces, gorilla’s faces – a full dinosaur. Phil and Andy saw them. And they weren’t chiselled in. This was natural rock. It was wild. I could have spent all day looking at this stuff. Then Phil took it a step further because he then started seeing cheese in the rocks!
Before you entered camp, you said how much you enjoyed sleeping outside in Australia the first time round. Did you enjoy it again this time?
Yeah. I loved it in Australia. I used to enjoy it as a kid, I’ve always loved the outside. It’s illegal to go wild camping in the UK. You can’t just get your sleeping bag and think, ‘I’m just going to sleep there for the night.’ But I’ve always enjoyed the outside. The only problem I had this time is I’ve got a hip replacement. It’s a fake hip and my other hip is on its way out. The one thing I didn’t think about before I went in there was how low the beds were. I just didn’t think about that. And it really is too low for me. The specialist told me not to sit on anything low and I forgot. When I woke up one morning, I’m way below the right level. I wake up, swing my legs round and then the next thing, the whole camp heard my hip crack. It was painful. So from then on, I was conscious of it happening again – my leg goes behind and could have ended up in North Africa [laughs]!
What was your worst moment in camp?
Well apart from the hip situation, I don’t think I had a worse moment. Even with the rice and beans, it didn’t bother me. At the end of the day, it’s only a few weeks on rice and beans, that’s fine.
What’s your best memory?
My best stuff was me, Andy and Phil in Crap Camp [Savannah Scrub]. That was a laugh, that. Me and the boys in crap camp. So yeah, I enjoyed that. I asked for Phil to be sent over [to Savannah Scrub from main camp] and thank god he really didn’t mind.