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Esther's knickers put the jungle in a twist

PUBLISHED: 15:56 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 07 September 2010

Editorial Use Only/No Merchandising EMBARGO: NOT TO BE USED BEFORE 22.00 ON 17NOV 2008 For UK Website use please contact Toni Saint at Rex Features, 020 7278 7294.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV / Rex Features ( 819207cu )

Esther Rantzen in the Away Camp

'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' TV Programme, Australia - 17 Nov 2008

Editorial Use Only/No Merchandising EMBARGO: NOT TO BE USED BEFORE 22.00 ON 17NOV 2008 For UK Website use please contact Toni Saint at Rex Features, 020 7278 7294. Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV / Rex Features ( 819207cu ) Esther Rantzen in the Away Camp 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' TV Programme, Australia - 17 Nov 2008

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COOL and collected, Esther Rantzen's not one to get her knickers in a twist – except when she s straining water through them in the latest series of I m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here. The Australian celeb romp has seen Ms Rantzen shed tears, contempl

COOL and collected, Esther Rantzen's not one to get her knickers in a twist - except when she's straining water through them in the latest series of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here.

The Australian celeb romp has seen Ms Rantzen shed tears, contemplate walking out and comfort warring stars as temperatures soar.

But her most unforgettable act - for all the wrong reasons - has been to offer a pair of her (admittedly clean) knickers for straining water through.

To this Robert Kilroy-Silk, the "Nasty Nick" of this series, said: "Would you like your water strained through Esther's knickers?" to an unimpressed group.

It seems Ms Rantzen has been longing for the hearth and home of native Hampstead as she repeatedly talked of leaving the jungle.

She told the camp on the reality TV series this week: "In the middle of the night, I just thought I'm not staying."

She also cried openly while remembering her late husband Desmond Wilcox.

"Listening to the girls," she said, "they were talking about the laughter and companionship and things and I had a partnership like theirs. I had somebody. I miss him obviously."

She also had lots to say when contestants got a taste of some crocodile crotch: "I want to know about this crocodile b*** bag," she said to page 3 pin-up Nicole McLean, who answered: "It's so bad, it was so tough."

Ms Rantzen replied: "Did it squish?"

When told to shut up, she added: "I'm sorry, this is not an experience I've ever had."

Most of the time Ms Rantzen has been the "Ms Nice" of the jungle, reassuring model Carly Zucker when she blew her top with another contestant, patting backs, squeezing shoulders and generally playing a comforting Mother Goose role.

Hampstead-born Lauren Booth, who entered the 2006 I'm A Celebrity... by bungee-jumping off a helicopter, said: "Kilroy's horrid. I think if Esther looks after other people, she'll do well.

"If you listen to other people and take care of others then you'll be OK. The people who do worst are those like Kilroy who are unpleasant about people and nitpicking.

"I really feel sorry for them this year. She's got the strong character to succeed. I look forward to seeing Esther do some trials. Give her a trial and see how she does."

Rowland Rivron, from Muswell Hill, who was the first to be expelled from Comic Relief Does Fame Academy and currently presents comedy shows on BBC Radio 2, said: "I've seen her around Hampstead village, which seems her natural habitat.

"She's a million miles from Hampstead now.

"Whether she's got the right character, I don't know. She's very level headed and probably very methodical - so I wouldn't be surprised if she suddenly woke up and thought, 'That's it,' and left the show.

"She knows what she wants and invariably gets it. I don't know how much give and take she's prepared to do to win it. I don't know how good she is out of her comfort zone. My advice to her would be, 'Keep your head down and don't get involved in any one else's problems.'


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