Former King of the Jungle Joe Swash exits I’m A Celebrity days before final

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Joe Swash has become the latest campmate to leave I’m a Celebrity… South Africa, just days before the final.

The former King of the Jungle was dumped after he failed to beat fellow campmate Phil Tufnell in the Temple of Doom challenge.

In his exit interview following his departure, the ex-EastEnders star revealed how he found returning to jungle life “overwhelming”.

He said: “I found it amazing. It was such an amazing group of people that made me and Dean feel immediately welcome.

“I don’t think I’ve laughed as much for years. Honestly, my ribs were so sore from laughing. It was quite an overwhelming experience as well because the jungle means so much to me.

“As in, I worked on it for over a decade, I met my wife on there, I’ve now had children. It was so nice to go back in there.

“It all sort of came back to me how much the show has done for me. It was lovely. It was really nice to go back and sort of say thank you. That was a big part of returning for me.

“Also, I was honoured to be one of the few that got to go back to be one of the legends.

“It was such a nice experience and something me and Stacey can show our kids and let them know, it all started from the jungle.”

The current season of the hit ITV show has seen a shake-up as they brought in previous campmates from past seasons to compete against each other as they headed to South Africa rather than Australia.

Swash entered the jungle with fellow ex-EastEnders actor Dean Gaffney later than the other campmates.

He continued to say how he found the latest series harder than his first stint in the jungle.

The latest season is also the first time a pre-recorded season has been shown, with it being filmed in South Africa last year.

He said: “I think I found it tougher ultimately because of being away from the kids for so long.

“I missed my family so much. We had our phones taken away and I’ve never not had communication with them before.

“My kids are young and I knew they wouldn’t really understand where I was and would be upset. It really played on me. And being in the camp, it always brings up memories for me of Stacey.

“If it wasn’t for the show, I would never have my family. My family were always in the front of my mind.

“I found that really difficult. A lot harder than I thought I would.

“But again I was really lucky as the people in camp kept my spirits high.”

Swash married partner Stacey Solomon last year after they met following her stint on the show in 2010, with the couple having three children during their 13-year long relationship.

The final will be shown on ITV at 9pm on Friday.

I’m A Celebrity…South Africa continues tonight at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX, catch up on the full series on ITVX.

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