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'I'm a Celebrity Help My Career!'

'I'm a Celebrity Help My Career!'

There are few things in the TV guide that gets viewers on the edge of their seats as ‘I’m Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ the showbiz program renowned for its stormy feuds, gruesome bushtucker trials & heartwarming jokes provided from the comedy duo that is Ant & Dec.  

Photo by Matt Brockie on Unsplash

With season 17 only days away from beginning, the questioning over this year’s lineup has ceased as all ten celebs have been revealed and are preparing for life in the jungle. There’s good news for fans of Ant & Dec too, with it confirmed that both will take their usual spot as hosts of the show. Previously rumours of Holly Willoughby being on emergency standby for Ant McPartlin had been circulating in the build-up to the show.

When the class of 2017 celebrities enter the tropical surroundings of Australia on Sunday to begin their quest to become King or Queen of the Jungle, it will mean that almost 200 celebrities of all shapes and sizes have entered the jungle since the program began in 2002.

It’s time to look back at who’s ‘I’m a Celebrity’ experience served their career and reputation for the better and who came out on the wrong side of Kiosk Keith. 


The Happy Campers 

Photo by Elijah Hail on Unsplash

Gino D’Acampo

The reality chef appeared and subsequently won the 2009 series. Since then things seem to have only gone one way for Gino and that’s up. Shortly after becoming King of the Jungle, he took up the position of the regular chef on ITV’s This Morning. More was to follow, multiple TV series of ‘Let’s do Lunch with Gino & Mel’ was rolled out, an ever-present team captain on Celebrity Juice since 2014, and now has opened his own flagship restaurant in the heart of London. 

Scarlett Moffatt

A lot can happen in a year, just ask Scarlett! Only entering the jungle this time last year, you could have been forgiven for wondering who the lady from the north was if you weren’t an avid viewer of Gogglebox. Scarlett went on to become crowned Queen of the Jungle, and with that, a whole new career beckoned. Taking up the role of co-presenter of Saturday Night Takeaway alongside her Teesside counterparts Ant & Dec, it will be interesting to see how she fares as a co-presenter of the jungle’s sister show ‘Extra Camp’ this season.

Peter Andre

With arguably the biggest romance to ever hit the jungle in 2004, Peter became involved in one of the highest profile relationships in the British press for the next 5 years. At the time of entering the jungle, he was being turned down by most American record labels. But by the time he came out of the jungle his ‘Mysterious Girl’ hit single from 1996, had shot back into the charts and everyone in the nation was impatiently waiting for the release of ‘Insania’. 

Stacey Solomon

After finishing 3rd in X – Factor the year before, Stacey entered the outback in 2010, 3 weeks later she emerged victoriously and crowned Queen of the Jungle. A host of Television appearances was to follow including being a judge on ‘Top Dog Model’ and Love Island’s ‘After Sun’ show. Several guest appearances on Loose Women in 2016, led to her becoming a full-time panellist on the hit daytime show. To top that off, she’s also been the face of supermarket chain Iceland since 2011. 

The Not-so happy Campers

Photo by Blake Lisk on Unsplash


Gillian McKeith 

One of the more unpopular celebrities to enter the jungle across the previous 16 seasons was Gillian McKeith. The viewers continuously kept on voting for her to take part in more Bushtucker Trials and at one point she even ‘fake-fainted’ to get herself out of the challenge involving rats. This led to a fellow team member, Britt Ekland, suggesting that ‘she should win an Oscar for best-supporting actress’.  Gillian went into the jungle working regularly on Channel 4, since her time in Australia she hasn’t been seen quite so much! 

John Lydon

Since his appearance on season 3 which aired almost 14 years ago now, it seems one bad story has followed another for Johnny. Infamous on I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here for his foul-mouthed tirade towards viewers on a live broadcast and then storming off and leaving camp. ITV subsequently received 91 complaints about Lydon’s language.

 Nadine Dorries

It was a shock to see Nadine as a contestant for the 12th season of the show, least of all for her own party members! Dorries was suspended from the parliamentary Conservative Party for her choice to appear on the ITV show without informing the Chief Whip. More drama was to follow as Dorries initially refused to disclose how much ITV had paid for her to appear on the show.


Lembit Öpik 

The former liberal democratic MP appeared on the 2010 series, unfortunately, the other camp members didn’t take to his humour. Known since for his relationship with Gabriela Irimina, Lembit hasn’t been involved in politics since his time in the jungle. In recent times, Öpik’s Bulgarian property lawyer girlfriend Sabina Vankova has dumped him publicly on Twitter after he supposedly stayed over at Alex Best’s house!





Jared O’Mara and the Unforgiving Eternity of the Internet

Just cos he writes about gayness and gay issues, doesn’t mean he drives up the marmite motorway.’

‘I just think that this story is much more poignantly romantic than fudge packing Jake.’

‘A rhythm section that’s tighter than your mother was when I took her virginity all those years ago.’

You could be forgiven for reading the above statements as the deranged blabbering of a sulky, and confused teenager. If only it were so. Instead, they represent the historic online comments of elected Labour MP Jared O’Mara.

O’Mara made headlines in the snap election when he displaced Nick Clegg from his seat of Sheffield Hallam. He was seen as a candidate who was very much carried along on the crest of the Momentum wave.

That was June, this is October, and O’Mara has been suspended from the party following a string of vile revelations broken by Guido Fawkes, a right-wing gossip blog infamous for exposing the worst digressions of Members of Parliament.

O’Mara’s ire was not limited to homosexual people, or other people’s mothers. ‘Fat’ people, women, Spaniards, Danes and teenage girls have all felt the sting of O’Mara’s vitriol over the years. Angela Rayner, a member of the Shadow Cabinet, defended O’Mara by claiming that these comments were made a long time ago, and that his opinions had evolved. This is a pretty weak defence, and weaker still given that we can simply check the dates of his comments in an online forum and ascertain that he was 21-years-old.

Now, I’m 23, and as vulgar and detestable as my colleagues might find me, I would argue that I know that referring to teenage girls as ‘sexy little slags’ is not the social norm, and I would also have known two years ago that it was unacceptable.

While it would be easy to sit here and pull apart O’Mara’s views, and the sub-standard Labour vetting process that allowed him to contest a seat, the best lesson learned for figures of public prominence is the damage that the digital world can wreak on a reputation. O’Mara is 35-years-old now, and is perhaps one generation too late to have truly grown up with the internet.

But given the way he is now being torn to shreds in the media, this raises an interesting question over whether this is something we can expect to see more of, as more public figures who have grown up with online forums, Facebook and Twitter come into the spotlight.

This can at times be a source of amusement. The SNP’s Mhairi Black was just 20 when elected (you may have seen her, in a blinding lack of self-awareness, lamenting ‘career politicians’ recently), and some of her old tweets from her teenage years were dug up after her selection. They were quite funny to the casual observer, and rather embarrassing for Black herself.




Andre Gray, the Premier League footballer, had a more sobering experience when explosive homophobic tweets from his past were pulled up. He faced FA disciplinary action as a result. 

Trial by social media is not a new phenomenon, but as those who have grown up hand-in-glove with the internet move into positions as MPs and figures of public influence, there could be much more scandal yet to come.

Being cautious or vigilant in the here and now is clearly not enough. Do people remember all that they have done and said in the past? Should they continue to be made to atone for it? Is the best course of action to completely erase your digital footprint?

Online is forever, and as Jared O’Mara is finding out, there is no hiding place once all is revealed.

Just how many more skeletons are there in how many more closets? Halloween is on the way, so another fright may be just around the corner.


Hate Seeking Missiles: The Rise Of The Professional Troll

In the last few years the professional troll has arisen, not designed to anger you about a subject, but at the person saying it. We now have celebrities designed just for you to venomously despise, not because you disagree with them, but because they’re simply horrible people.

It’s clear that people are getting harder to shock, meaning that celebrities have had to resort to even more daring ploys for attention. In the last few years, we have seen sex tapes, meat dresses, award ceremony invasions, all deliberate attempts to raise awareness of a product or person. Shock PR tactics are evolving to ludicrous and downright offensive levels. We are seeing a generation of celebrities who are not only controversial but downright horrible, who are famous for making you hate them.

The media is now plagued by commentators who spew offensive comments just to get a reaction from the public, behaving in essence, like a troll.

For those living in a cave (or more suitably, under a bridge), a troll is a nickname for those who roam social media, upsetting people to evoke a reaction. This can include sexism, racism and even threats of sexual abuse or death. Thankfully this is being cracked down on but the scale of the problems means very few have faced convictions thus far.

Dapper Laughs was recently criticised for his offensive approach to women.

Dapper Laughs was recently criticised for his offensive approach to women.

The professional troll is successful due to their simple strategy. Nasty comments by celebs (usually on Twitter) get picked up by the media which are then shared countless times across social media like the online equivalent of cholera. The celebrity’s reputation can’t be harmed because it is built on these principles. Anyone voicing their disgust further spreads the celebrity in question’s name so you can’t really win, by responding you are merely fuelling the fire.

Vine video host Dapper Laughs is a great example. For those that missed his fortnight of fame, the alleged ‘comedian’ revels in making crude, sexists jokes at their expense. A real gent. Another famous member of this new generation is the Scottish ghoul Frankie Boyle, famed for making comments about Jimmy Saville and Princess Diana.

Thankfully, it seems that these people do have expiry dates.

They say there is no such thing as bad PR, but it does often have repercussions. Dapper Laughs, for example, has pretty much been killed off after the horror show that was his TV show and general national condemnation. Frankie Boyle’s antics, while initially making the headlines have faded away and now is so despised by the media, he’s unlikely to ever work on terrestrial television again.

It’s evident that eventually these celebrities will go away if they are starved of the media attention that they need to thrive.

The message is clear, DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!

How to Rebuild Trust in Your Tech Brand

Scandal, scandal, scandal. Security breaches, data hoarding and ethical ambiguity – if the likes of Apple, Snapchat and Sony are anything to go by in terms of trust in technology, they certainly didn’t do SMEs and entrepreneurs any favours in 2014.

Our trust in technology brands was found to have dipped last year.

Our trust in technology brands was found to have dipped last year.

Last week, a report highlighted that Brits’ trust in technology had substantially dipped in the last year. Consumer electronics and telecoms, in particular, both took a tumble, and now, as other countries enthusiastically steam ahead with innovation, Brits’ trust (or lack thereof) in tech is significantly impeding our progression towards a connected future.

So what can tech companies do to reassure British consumers? Here are our top three tips to inspire, maintain, or, in some cases, rebuild trust in your tech brand.

Data and Security

After numerous high profile data hacks and security breaches in 2014, consumers are understandably concerned about how their details are mined, managed and manipulated. For tech brands, ensuring you are plain and transparent with your use, storage and trading of data is vital to allay the fears stoked by these incidents and strengthen that all-important consumer trust.

High profile hacks have left consumers wondered whether their data is safe.

High profile hacks have left consumers wondering whether their data is safe.

Only a couple of months ago, MPs on the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee were compelled to call for new guidelines for apps and websites, requiring them to explain clearly their use of personal data. Increasingly, regulation is making it difficult for technology to evolve, so instead of waiting for more guidelines and possibly laws to be introduced, why not prove to society that tech brands can be responsible, transparent and effectively self-regulate? As Andrew Miller, chair of the committee, noted: “Socially responsible companies wouldn’t want to bamboozle their users”.

Quality and Safety

Technology as a topic can often seem inaccessible – after all, there’s a lot of jargon and few people understand how software and hardware is actually built. So when there are rapid developments, it almost appears too good to be true, leaving some sceptical and mistrusting consumers questioning the validity of research and the quality of the design of a product.

In fact, nearly half of UK consumers believe that innovation is happening too quickly – but then, it’s not in the best interests of tech developers to slam on the brakes. Instead, it’s vital that tech companies address these concerns directly, by allowing people to trial and test their capabilities. Demonstrating quality by offering your product for high profile reviews is a good way of gaining advocacy from trusted, independent parties.

Positioning your company as experts in a relevant field – through thought leadership pieces and interviews – will also reassure consumers that the same intelligence and conscientiousness has been baked into your product or service.


Perhaps one of the most surprising snippets to come out of the mammoth Consumer Electronics Show 2015 earlier this month was an admission from Gary Shapiro, CEO of the event. He acknowledged that over-reliance on digital products is a “Natural trend that people are talking about”, and that he believes in the good of “everything, in reason.”

A digital detox, it seems, may well be on the horizon – and tech companies must be prepared. Consumers mistrust products and brands that serve no true purpose, or that bombard them with so many that they can’t discern what the product is really for. So decide what problem you want to solve and where your niche lies, instead of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades. Less is more – or, in the immortal words of Coco Chanel, “before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”

In your communications, tech brands should ensure that the value your product adds to the market is conveyed clearly and consistently. If consumers can see how your product will save them time, bring them new information or simply entertain them, trust in your brand will strengthen. That one must-have feature of your offering should shine through: purpose over puff.

As we move forward into 2015, it seems that innovation is no longer enough. Trust in your tech brand must be built upon a foundation of transparency, independent advocacy and clear communications – only then will Brits embrace the advances you have nurtured. How will trust in your brand fare this year?

Greggs show the importance of social media during a potential crisis

Twitter and Facebook are the first places many people take to when angry about something these days. Gone are the days of sending angry letters or emails and people have certainly lost faith in customer services over the phone. With thousands of others able to see your comments instantly and jump on the complaining bandwagon with their own experiences, social media platforms rightly seem the best way to get a message across to a brand quickly and get a quick response.

The channels, which started off as luxuries for brands enabling them to communicate with a whole load of potential customers quickly, easily and for free, are now one of the biggest methods of direct customer conversation and complaints. The individuals behind these channels spend their days responding to tweets and Facebook posts directed at the brand, making sure the consumer leaves happy in the end and no further negativity about the brand is spread.

There are numerous examples that show the true power of these platforms, the most recent being yesterday’s ‘Google Greggs’ campaign. If you currently type Gregg’s into Google, the first thing to appear is numerous news articles regarding a prank played on them via Google. No one knows whether this was a substantial fail on Google’s behalf or an extremely clever viral marketing campaign but contrary to what the ‘prankers’ aimed to achieve when changing the brands logo to read “Greggs – Providing sh*t to scum for over 70 years”, all the coverage is positive and their SEO ratings will have gone through the roof. It may not have been planned, but the way Greggs responded was turned this into great PR for the brand.

So how did this prank backfire and why have Greggs come away as the good guys? Well, instead of trying to speak with Google to get the logo changed asap and trying to brush what had happened under the carpet, their social team very cleverly decided to converse with Google via Twitter only, using a bribe of delicious fresh doughnuts to get them to prioritise this task. They created the hashtag #fixgreggs, with Google quickly responding with, ‘Sorry @GreggstheBakers, we’re on it. Throw in a sausage roll and we’ll get it done ASAP. #fixgreggs’.

Greggs then went on to reply to all concerned customers who had been talking about the logo through Twitter as well, having banter along the way and making light of a bad situation. One tweet they replied with for example was, ‘@joannaroberts_ what? Has something happened? ;-)’.

The problem was soon resolved and all that has been left is positive news coverage in numerous outlets including Sky News, the Telegraph, Evening Standard and Independent.

Another example of social media not only saving the day but greatly enhancing positive awareness of a brand is in the case of O2 whose Twitter account became swamped with negative tweets about poor service by frustrated customers during a large network crash.  Instead of responding to all complaints with the same standard corporate jargon, they too responded to each tweet individually in an honest and light-hearted manner. Customers found this human touch refreshing and emotions quickly changed as a result.

It was the opposite case for HMV however, whose staff took to social media to vent about their frustration of losing their jobs. Instead of the marketing team foreseeing this and planning a good way to disperse the situation, they got worried and started deleting comments as they came in. To the angry staff, this was probably the most annoying thing they could have done and it showed complete lack of control on HMV’s part. This only created more negative press around the company.

These examples show just how powerful a tool social media can be, both in making and breaking the image and trust in a brand. In this day, all companies should have a social media crisis plan, whether deciding how to respond to negative comments in line with the brand’s personality or how they plan to apologise to customers should something go wrong. People naturally like to feel cared about so as long as that comes across through all channels, a bad situation can quickly be resolved.

Heartbleed bug causing reputational damage to infected businesses

The Heartbleed bug is one of the biggest online security threats to date. The name alone sounds serious, like a tropical disease crossed with a Taylor Swift song. But apart from scaring us all into changing our passwords from ‘password1’ to something a little bit more secure, what is the Heartbleed bug and why should businesses be concerned?

The bug exists in a piece of open source software called OpenSSL which is designed to encrypt communications between a user’s computer and a web server. It is one of the most widely used encryption tools on the internet, believed to be deployed by roughly two-thirds of all websites. If you see a little padlock symbol in your browser then it is likely that you are using SSL.

It allows anyone to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. In layman’s terms, this means that usernames and passwords, as well as other confidential data, could be read by cybercriminals.

The Heartbleed bug has caused a crisis of confidence amongst consumers.

The Heartbleed bug has caused a crisis of confidence amongst consumers.

Half a million sites are thought to have been affected including online banking, shopping websites and email accounts. Since the vulnerability has been in OpenSSL for about two years and using it leaves no trace, it is safe to assume that your accounts may be compromised.

Companies are rapidly patching up their systems to secure against it and because so many businesses have been affected by this including Google, Tumblr and Instagram, being infected by the Heartbleed bug does not mean the end of your business.

However, companies that have not been compromised are coming out on top. Apple has been praised for their robust iOS operating systems and has confirmed that all of its devices and web services are safe from the bug. In fact, its devices never used the problematic software in the first place. This foresight will no doubt win Apple more brand advocates.

So whether you are a business or an individual, you should change your online passwords, especially for services where privacy and security are major concerns. Changing passwords is worth doing, and to be honest, it is something you should probably do every six months or so anyway. It is a pain, I know, but it is better to be on the safe side than catch the Heartbleed bug.

What this story does go to show is how important trust is for consumers, particularly when dealing with firms with a strong online presence. They are aware their data is being used and when they feel it may be compromised – particularly with something as sensitive as bank details – they’re likely to get very nervous very quickly, and rightly so.

What this recent news has shown from a PR point of view is that sometimes the most powerful way to influence customers and win business from rivals is to perform particularly well during a crisis, rather than simply pushing positive PR messages.

Mozilla CEO’s resignation shows a fortnight is a long time in PR

There is no greater hindrance to business success than complacency. One minute things are going well, the next you’re facing a public crisis – just ask Brendan Eich.

It was today announced that the Mozilla chief executive would step down from his position after public outrage at his support of a California bill to ban gay marriage. In addition, he also resigned from his seat on the board of the non-profit foundation which owns the company.

Last week three members of the Mozilla board resigned after Mr Eich was promoted – it’s safe to say he’s had a nightmare fortnight.

Mozilla CEO stepped down due to views on gay marriage

Mozilla CEO stepped down due to views on gay marriage

So how did Mr Eich get to this unenviable outcome? Simply due to the weight of public outrage at his personal views on whether people of the same sex should be allowed to marry.

With growing transparency amongst businesses, the people who run them, and the public, facilitated by an extraordinary rise in the popularity of social media, it has never been more important for companies to stand for something real – something people can get behind.  Mozilla do this well and for many have been viewed as the good guys, waging war on the corporate behemoth that is Internet Explorer. A fun, inclusive company which champions service and enjoyment – and certainly not one at which a CEO would have prejudice views on who should and shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

Modern business PR is all about delivering a clear, consistent and believable message so whilst a company can do one thing, if a senior employee does the opposite this disconnect is leapt upon in a second and in short you can be thrown to the wolves. In this case, Mr Eich’s comments were the equivalent of a Greenpeace representative supporting a bill for lessened regulation on seal clubbing.

All companies, regardless of size need to continually reinforce the importance of a united front and message to all of their employees, particularly visible senior ones otherwise a brand image which has been carefully crafted over a number of years can come tumbling down in one speech, one tweet, five seconds.

The company did the right thing to distance itself from his stance, exposing it as a rogue view rather than a company one, however as they conceded, ‘We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.’

Politicians are regularly told to tow the party line and perhaps Mr Eich should’ve done the same at Mozilla rather than letting his personal views cost him his job and Mozilla some of their credibility.

Despite the media barrage Nigella’s image should recover with time

One of the biggest news stories to break last year was the divorce of Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, and the series of events surrounding it. Growing up my mother would habitually use recipes from Nigella Lawson’s cookery books, one, in particular, was her second book, Kitchen Recipes from the Heart of the Home which is so well-thumbed and splattered with cake mix it is barely readable. I remember pouring over the glossy pages, admiring this glamorous and successful woman who made cooking seem such a desirable hobby. That’s not to say that Nigella was my ultimate idol. Yet I have always held a certain respect for Lawson, she has endurably presented such a calm and sophisticated presence to the press, certainly a figure in the public eye to admire.

Yet recent allegations have certainly gone some way to changing her public image as a domestic goddess. In one aspect I feel deeply sorry for Nigella who has dealt with circumstances in life that would depress anyone. The death of her mother and sister, and her first husband to cancer is deplorable and tragic, something nobody should have to deal with in their life. Additionally, the mistreatment she suffered from Saatchi to whom she was married for ten years, with which she described the experience as ‘intimate terrorism’. Nigella has not had a smooth path in life.

Yet admitting to drug use does strike a sour taste in my mouth. Although she claims to have used drugs a maximum of 10 times, albeit, through a very difficult period in her life, I still cannot ignore the fact that she has partaken in something that could potentially sabotage her health and send a bad message not only to the public but to her children.

Nigella's reputation will recover

Nigella’s reputation will recover

Although I cannot condone the use of drugs, I still can’t help but feel some sort of compassion towards Nigella. I do vehemently feel that the focus in the media’s headlines on her illicit drug taking is narrow and arrogantly ignorant of why the drug use was initially revealed – the Grillo sisters’ trial. The press are honing in on Nigella’s drug use as if it is her on trial instead.

During the trial, Lawson calmly admitted to her drug use, which admittedly must have taken some degree of confidence and strength. Throughout she has remained dignified despite being slammed by the papers, even though she is the one person who will stand to lose the most. The lack of courtesy toward Nigella’s personal and private life is, I suppose, hard to avoid when you are famous and essentially the public’s business.

It’s safe to say there are very few worse allegations which can be thrown at her and I believe long-term Nigella’s reputation will recover. Her new show The Taste was aired on Channel 4 last night and should help bring the focus back to what she can do in the kitchen rather than what she has confessed in the courtroom.