This season of I’m A Celeb has been jam-packed with drama, but it’s also marking the exit of co-host Dr Chris Brown after it was revealed he was switching networks from Ten to Seven by the time the season airs.
Speaking to Brown and Julia Morris ahead of the show’s highly-anticipated finale, news.com.au reported that his longtime co-host was struggling to wrap her head around his departure.
“I’m just sad in my heart,” she said.
“I think I’m still in shock, and in a very healthy way, I’ve decided to completely ignore it in my brain. This series has felt even more fun than usual, so I’m just not allowing my brain to click over to the fact it won’t be in this incarnation anymore.”
Brown’s move between networks has been unusually prolonged by TV standards, and he said it had been bittersweet to have one last hoorah in the jungle before he bids it farewell.
“It’s definitely been [difficult], and that’s been because I love the show so much. It’s been hard to count down how many shows you have left, and realise it’s the last time you do this or that,” he confessed.
“But it’s allowed me to treasure every single day I’ve had over here. It’s also given the entire crew the chance to crack jokes about it.”
“If it’s laughing or crying, which one do you want to do?” Morris teased.
Brown named former netball star Liz Ellis as this season’s natural leader, saying that other contestants “go to a trial and their motivation is they don’t want to let down Liz … it’s quite funny.”
Below Deck reality star Aesha Scott, who has risen in fame since appearing on the show has reportedly been one of the season’s biggest surprise packages.
“She’s been a revelation. Her energy, her humour, her determination to keep everyone entertained at every possible opportunity, and her open-mouthed silent laughing, would’ve been a big surprise for many people,” Brown said.
Brown and Morris have had a front-show seat for the extensive drama seen this season, particularly with Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s feud with Domenica Calarco leading to her abrupt exit.
During the confrontation between Dom and KAK the cameras cut to the hosts looking uncomfortable at best.
“In fact, it was the face of someone who realised they’ve got the front row seat to a true reality TV moment … and they’re dressed in comical tennis gear,” he said.
Viewers noted that there was a snippet of the confrontation before the show later cut to KAK tearfully telling her fellow jungle-goers that she had quit, but there was no content shown of what happened in the middle.
Brown added that there was “silence” among the crew as everyone tried to process what had happened.
“Kerri-Anne was pretty clear – well, abundantly clear – about how she felt. We’re not about trying to change people’s minds. We had to mediate to a certain extent, and make sure everyone felt OK.”
Brown and Morris have appeared to be much more nurturing towards the campers than hosts on other shows and Morris explained that it was an important aspect, emphasising cohesion over conflict.
“The contestants are in the jungle for a long time, so to much making fun of them doesn’t go well. They become less seen to do trials and less keen to even see us in camp, which is not a nice feeling,” she said.
The attitudes of the hosts paired with the bizarre humour has been a winning combination since the show’s debut in 2015.
Morris revealed it was difficult to think about replacing her beloved co-host.
“Chris and I, people think they know what this combination is and why it [works], but not even we’re really sure why that frisson is so great. How am I going to find a person who fills all that criteria?” she asked.
“I really have someone special in mind, and I don’t want to blow it,” she revealed. “I’m hoping I can coax Dr Chris Brown over from Channel 7.”
Image credit: Getty
This article first appeared on Over60.