I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! has named its winner for 2023.
Please note that spoilers for the final of I’m a Celebrity… are below.
During Sunday night’s finale episode (10 December), the remaining three contestants – Nigel Farage, Tony Bellew and Sam Thompson – went head-to-head during their final Bushtucker trial, duking it out to become “King of the Jungle”.
Former heavyweight boxer Bellew was strapped down to a giant human-sized plate, where he had to remain while thousands of critters surrounded his face and body. Made in Chelsea’s Thompson took on an eating trial, in which he ate a camel’s toe, a fish’s eye and a scorpion. For dessert, he had to eat a camel’s penis and a pig’s vagina. Former Ukip leader Farage, meanwhile, had to lie in a pit of snakes as the reptiles slithered across his body.
However, it was up to the public to decide who would be King of the Jungle – no matter how well they did in their last ever Bushtucker Trial.
Ant and Dec announced that the controversial politician Farage had been placed third, with Bellew in second place, making Thompson the winner for 2023.
Thompson follows in the footsteps of Jill Scott, who was crowned “Queen of the Jungle” in 2022, beating out actor Owen Warner and disgraced Tory MP Matt Hancock who made up the final three.
During his time in the Australian jungle, Thompson has been praised for bringing positivity to the camp. He was continuously enamoured to be in the presence of his campmate JLS star Marvin Humes, whom Thompson admitted to idolising growing up.
Thompson has also been very vocal about how much of an I’m a Celebrity…. fan he has been over the years, saying that it’s always been a “dream” of his to go on the show.
Often praised for his loveable and friendly nature, Thompson was voted the camp leader in the second week of the series.
Thompson has also shared some heart-to-heart moments with his campmates. His relationship with Bellew has been a fan-favourite, with the pair often cheering each other on during their Bushtucker Trials.
In one standout episode, Thompson sat down with Humes and This Morning’s Josie Gibson at the creek and spoke about being diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) last year.
Earlier this year, the 31-year-old presented a Channel 4 documentary titled Sam Thompson: Is This ADHD? about his quest for a diagnosis.
Marvin mentioned that Thompson had alluded to having ADHD a couple of times in the camp, asking him: “How old were you when you were diagnosed with it?”
“Last year, mate,” Thompson said. “There’s loads of people who are actually of a certain age who get diagnosed way later. When the low bits happen it goes low. But then the highs are really high.”
Thompson said that his girlfriend, Love Island star and recent Strictly Come Dancing contestant Zara McDermott, was a huge stabilising force in his life.
“My girlfriend Zara is so steady and it’s so good for me. When she’s going steady I’m going like that,” he explained, miming a wavy line.
“My time-keeping is terrible. I get quite selfish, not just with her, with everyone – my mates or whatever. My listening to Zara… I’m just finding myself staring off at something completely different. You sort of feel like you’re a bit of a k*** sometimes.”
“But you would not be Sam without it,” Gibson said, with Humes adding: “I would just always say you’ve got loads of energy. Your energy is crazy bro, and it’s what makes you great.”
Thompson said that it was “weird no one spotted it beforehand at school”. He continued: “But if you look at all of my report cards, every single one says the same, it says: ‘Likeable enough guy, but lacks focus.’ It’s staring at you in the face.
“If I’d known as a kid, not much would have changed, but how you feel about yourself probably changes. I remember crying into my textbook because I couldn’t understand the words going into my head. You want to do good. You don’t want to be mischievous or anything like that.”
Speaking in the Bush Telegraph, Thompson said: “I’m not ashamed of having ADHD in any way. But I know that I would have felt better about myself at school if I’d been diagnosed with it at a younger age. I really was just like, ‘I just suck at everything.’”
Before entering the competition, Thompson described being on I’m a Celebrity as “a dream”, telling ITV: “It was an absolute resounding ‘yes’ when I got approached. In fact, they didn’t even need to ask! I am a huge fan of the show.”
Thompson rose to fame when he was introduced on Made in Chelsea as Louise Thompson’s little brother in 2013. However, Thompson began forging his own career on reality TV, appearing on The Celebrity Circle and Celebs Go Dating. He also hosts a podcast called Staying Relevant with his friend Pete Wicks, who joined him to celebrate in Australia after he was crowned the King of the Jungle.
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Coming Out airs on Wednesday 13 December at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX