How ‘I’m A Celeb’ Got Me Through Lockdown 2

With all the uncertainty of 2020, it was unclear whether the iconic British show I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here! would go ahead this November. The announcement that the show would still go ahead, albeit with some slight changes, was the positive news that many needed towards the end of a bad year.

As the nights got darker, the air cooler and we still weren’t allowed to see family, I’m A Celeb was a comfort watch for many. Reminding us of better times, a show where we could almost forget about the virus. The return of the show was a small insight into the normal we missed so badly and, more importantly, a reason to smile.

I’m A Celeb is a favourite in our house (or at least with me and my mum; the others aren’t fans). It means settling down on the sofa and watching together. It means chocolate, popcorn, and various drinks, enjoying the luxuries of our own home while watching the celebrities suffer from homesickness and hunger.

It means staying up late each night laughing hysterically as the celebrities come out of their shells over the three week period. It means squirming as they take on trials while also convincing each other we could definitely do better. There are tears when the celebrities receive their letters from home and joy when witnessing new friendships blossoming.

After three years away at university, this was the first year I was again watching at home with my mum, having shared the experience with housemates for the past three years. Despite the distance between us, I still experienced the show with my friends, conversing over our group chat about omg that person went, god they’re annoying, ewwwww and the countless other emotions that I’m A Celeb brings. The show gave me something to discuss with friends, family and neighbours other than Covid and the government, and that in itself was a relief. It gave me a Twitter hashtag to follow; a sense of community as others openly discussed the show.

Albeit it set within an abandoned Welsh castle instead of an Australian jungle, this year’s I’m A Celeb provided many with the happiness, laughter and of course disgusting trials that were needed. With a star-studded line up including Mo Farah and Vernon Kay, the audience were able to see the private side of people we’d previously only seen on TV.

But, aside from the household names, the show also gave lesser known celebrities the chance to show their faces. Viewers developed new favourites as the weeks progressed, gaining an insight into the lives of twelve celebrities bundled together for the show.

This year’s camp radiated kindness, happiness and community, with all celebrities getting on well and encouraging each other through difficult times. The loving characters in camp of Giovanna and Jessica were the hope we needed this year. It was nice to see a group of people getting on so well, especially against the backdrop of the social tensions which have surfaced since Covid.

I’m A Celeb brought some light and normality back into our lives this year; I don’t know if we’ve ever needed it more. It gave us a short break from Covid and the uncertainty of the world in 2020. It offered a light-hearted relief from life and was warmly welcomed from fans.

I’m A Celeb could never have saved all the awful things 2020 has brought, but for a short while it made things a little bit better.

Image courtesy of Jonny Gios.

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