A political jungle for MP
The fact that I am taking my longest holiday since 2000 at precisely the same time that I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here begins on ITV1 is, I promise you, entirely coincidental.
Although the extra time I'll have to vote for Tory MP Nadine Dorries to be upended in a vat of locusts, leeches and kangaroo spit on a nightly basis will come in handy, I won't lie.
Ah, Nadine Dorries, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
The fragrant Cameron Cutie represents the voters of Mid-Bedfordshire and is an outspoken campaigner and pro-life rent-a-gob who firmly believes women shouldn't be allowed control over their own wombs.
She was called before the Parliamentary watchdog for misleading voters by pretending on her blog that she was in her constituency when she wasn't, claimed �60k in expenses for a second home in Bedfordshire, gave one daughter a maternity cover post in her office for �28,000 and another a job as her office manager for �39,999.
After being accused of having an affair with her best friend's husband, she claimed her friend was an alcoholic who enjoyed wine at breakfast and in Parliament she's claimed that child sex abuse is sometimes the fault of girls 'not practising abstinence'.
In her defence, she did call David Cameron and his chancellor 'two arrogant posh boys who don't know the price of milk', but there's not much else to commend her: at a push, I suppose I could say she has quite nice teeth.
- 1 Chim chim, I do! Couple tie the knot in Mary Poppins-themed wedding
- 2 Military helicopters spotted flying over Norfolk
- 3 Family sue Wetherspoon after man falls to death in city pub
- 4 See inside 'stunning' flat overlooking Norwich Market
- 5 Are you the mystery Norwich builder Peter Crouch is searching for?
- 6 All-you-can-eat Chinese buffet at Riverside closes
- 7 Blanket ban: Standing room only for Simply Red fans
- 8 Train evacuated after hitting horse on Norwich to Diss line
- 9 Missing Taverham man found safe and well
- 10 Hidden 90-acre wildlife haven in city secured after £600k investment
I've long thought that I'm A Celebrity has got its wires crossed: we shouldn't be voting people off the show, we should be voting them in.
Dorries would have my vote on this basis, along with Mick Hucknell, Geri Halliwell, Stella McCartney, Russell Crowe, Howard from the Halifax, Nick Clegg, John Terry, that woman who put the cat in the bin, Peaches Geldof, Jan Moir, Michael Gove…(I could go on). These are people who need to be thrown into a pen with 12 angry ostriches. Or be forced to wear suits made of offal before being pushed into a tank of great white sharks. Or be strapped to a giant block of tofu and thrown into a Coldplay audience (I could go on).
Dorries has defended her role in I'm A Celebrity by claiming that, in between eating grubs, clambering through insect-infested chambers, donning helmets filled with fish guts and being buried alive in pits full of rats, she will attempt to stimulate political debate around the campfire.
Political debate and abortion chit-chat with a couple of soap stars, a Pussycat Doll, a Doctor Who, a boxer, a Bird of a Feather, an arrogant posh boy who doesn't know the price of milk (Hugo from Made In Chelsea), Brian Conley and Eric Bristow: television gold.
Thankfully, Ofcom's rules mean that we're as likely to see an pro-life three-way between Dorries, Rosie from Coronation Street and Doctor Who as we are to see the Queen's bathtime televised.
As former IACGMOOH contestant Lembit Opik sadly noted this week: 'I am sure that Nadine believes this is a way of getting her political message across. Her difficulty is that she is completely at the mercy of the editors, so she can talk politics but she can't be sure any of it will be broadcast.
'I spent four or five hours a day talking philosophy with Shaun Ryder, but not one minute was broadcast.'
I'll give you a moment to fully digest that: somewhere, in the bowels of ITV's film library, there are days and days of Lembit Opik talking to Shaun Ryder about philosophy – call off the search, scientists, we've found the definitive cure for insomnia.
Dorries is being paid 'a maximum of �40,000' to appear on the TV show which is a small price to pay if it ensures she can be humiliated in front of an audience of 16 million and keep her nose out of our business for at least a month.