Arlene Phillips Admits ‘Concerns’ About Being I’m A Celebrity’s Oldest Ever Contestant

I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here star Arlene Phillips has admitted she has some “concerns” ahead of becoming the show’s oldest ever contestant.

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge is one of 10 stars who’ll be seen taking up residence in Gwrych Castle when I’m A Celebrity returns to our screens on Sunday night.

At 78 years of age, Arlene is the oldest contestant to ever take part in I’m A Celebrity, which is something that clearly hadn’t escaped her attention before she arrived in camp.

“Obviously I’m concerned,” she told Metro. “Everything in your body changes as you get older.

“But in terms of being the oldest, I think I’ve always been the oldest. When I was 36 and I had my first baby, it was shock, horror – this geriatric mother having a baby. And then my second one at 47… I feel like I’ve always been the oldest at doing something, so it’s nothing really to me.”

Arlene Phillips at the Pride Of Britain awards last month

Mike Marsland via Getty Images

Arlene also told The Sun that she’d previously turned down I’m A Celebrity 10 times in the past, before finally deciding that this was her year.

She explained: “I have been asked at least 10 times before, and I said no. I knew it was going to be in the castle and despite it being cold, it’s close.

“I have done that journey to Australia so many times and gone out to work and found myself with my face in my food. I love Wales so if I had the opportunity and if I was ever doing to say yes, the fact that it is close by was a big plus.”

Arlene continued: “I think a moment of madness was probably the biggest factor [for saying yes] and also… it’s the first time when I have been asked when I actually had time available.

“I have worked probably every single year for the last 20 years through October, November, December. It’s the first time I have really thought about it.

“I want to show my granddaughters that grandma can do anything and also totally a moment of madness, is all I can say.”

The cast of I'm A Celebrity 2021
The cast of I’m A Celebrity 2021

It was previously reported we could be seeing a lot more of Arlene on our screens in the near future, as she’s apparently been touted as a replacement for John Barrowman on the Dancing On Ice panel.

She’ll be joined in the castle by TV presenters Richard Madeley and Louise Minchin, athletes Kadeena Cox and Matty Lee, music producer Naughty Boy and singer Frankie Bridge.

I’m A Celebrity returns on Sunday night at 9pm on ITV.

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