Firstly, full disclosure, I’m not averse to quitting. A 700-page book I’m not enjoying, a gym membership or three… I like to enjoy my life, so I strongly advocate a pro-quitting rule.
Secondly, more full disclosure: I hate being hungry and though I am a fan of porridge, I do prefer it to be accompanied in my day’s diet by Dairy Milk, toast and lasagne.
You’d think then that I would be an advocate of Gemma Collins’ early departure from the I’m A Celebrity jungle, but in this instance there’s a caveat to my pro-quitting and pro-eating stance.
Because GC was only in there for three days. Three days to acclimatise to a world that’s about as far away from a tenuously-themed birthday party and a vodka and lime-fuelled fight with Ferne McCann as it’s possible to get.
Three days where she was also in the ‘celebrity slammer’ – no bed, no food other than that porridge – with people she had only just met, and was probably still jetlagged.
Three days when clearly she would hate it because come on – who wouldn’t?
None of us know – well, until Tuesday when she gives a tell-all interview to a magazine, obviously – exactly why Gemma chose to leave, and the headlines about her love life before she went in were enough for us to know that this wasn’t a happy time for her.
But by leaving so early, Gemma will never know if she has a stoicism that would have kicked in on day five or six, or when she got her first task.
“I might become like Bear Grylls,” Gem had said on entering the camp. “You never know.”
Well we won’t know now, which is sad.
Oh god no, not for us – we’re fickle reality TV viewers, we’ll get over this the second Jake Quickenden strolls around without that top on – but for Gemma, who by leaving so early will never know how she performs when taken out of her comfort zone way beyond a fortnight in Marbs.
I’m A Celebrity isn’t moving up to Hertfordshire for a few weeks of prosecco in a jacuzzi for Celebrity Big Brother; in the jungle you get a genuinely life-changing experience.
For the first few hours out of camp, the hot bath, room service cheese toastie, glass of Aussie white and hugs from her best mates will be enough to confirm to Gemma she did the right thing in getting the hell out of there.
But after that? When the novelty of real life is done and she watches the rest of the campmates bond and adapt, and realises how much she has missed out on?
That’s when the person who’ll regret Gemma leaving the most won’t be the viewers obsessed with her dramas, or the campmates she left behind, but Gemma herself.
She flew all the way to Australia and quit TOWIE – the show that had made her famous – to go into the jungle. To give up on all of that so quickly?
I think she’ll realise it was an opportunity wasted, and that while a VIP booth at Sugar Hut might be more comfortable than the jungle, it’s unlikely to teach her as many life lessons.
[I'm A Celebrity: Gemma Collins' Malaria Fears]
[I'm A Celebrity: Gemma Collins Wants To Find Love In The Jungle]