Grace Dents scathing criticism of cruel Im A Celeb before signing up herself

Masterchef: The Professionals star Grace Dent made no secret of her contempt for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! back in 2012, when she accused the “puerile” show of animal cruelty.

However, she has now dismissed her comments as “jokes”, as she prepares to launch into life in the jungle herself.

The 50-year-old, who will join everyone from former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage to Europe-loving Frenchman and First Dates star Fred Sirieix, had previously spoken of the show in very scathing terms.

In an opinion piece for The Independent, she’d exclaimed: “Let’s be frank, I’m a Celeb, love or hate it, is far from a deluxe viewing experience.

“It is a puerile venture into starvation, televised constipation and animal cruelty, abbreviated by ads for Iceland £1 curries.”

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The acid-tongued food critic continued: “I snap my blinds firmly shut before settling down to watch I’m a Celeb, in fear that the theme tune alone devalues my property.”

However, she admitted that she “invariably does watch”, joking that she needed a dose of “dumb fun” like other viewers around the nation.

“The buzz about contestants such as the [former] Tory MP Nadine Dorries becomes so heady that it’s quite impossible not to take a peek, to see if she has been locked in a coffin and gnawed by rats,” she confessed.

However, today, Grace has backtracked on her scathing comments, shrugging them off with the retort: “I’ve made jokes about everything because that’s what I do.

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“Like Big Brother, and soap, I always did that from the place of someone that really loved them, and really watched them.”

Now the Celebrity Masterchef and Great British Menu star will be thrown in at the deep end to experience the highs and lows of the jungle herself.

She revealed earlier that she’d been enjoying a string of high-end meals, as she’s unsure when she’ll be able to taste them again.

Now, the renowned foodie will be swapping luxurious meals by Michelin-starred chefs for gag-inducing delicacies such as camel penis, and a cow’s anus, which former Health Secretary Matt Hancock braved the taste of last year during gruesome Bushtucker Trials.

If Grace is chosen for the daunting Bushtucker Trials, she’ll have a troubling time ahead of her – but it’s nothing that she isn’t prepared for already.

Admitting she’s “absolutely dreading” the food, she joked: “I think I will be writing very stiff columns about the jungle food when I come out!

“I am especially dreading being really hungry because I tend to eat four or five posh meals out a week because I am a restaurant critic.”

Addressing whether she’ll cook, she lamented: “I don’t know how you are going to make an alligator’s foot taste delicious if there are no spices!”

I’m A Celebrity airs on November 19 at 9pm on ITV and ITVX.

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