I’m A Celebrity: ‘J’ Brown

Unreal TV (10th November 2007)

J Brown’s describes himself as an “eternal pessimist” but says he had such a good feeling about being asked to take part in I’m A Celebrity that he started preparing for his jungle adventure a month and a half before he actually signed up for the show.

The former member of boy band Five has been jogging and going to the gym to get fit and he hopes his love of Ray Mears’ TV shows and books will also help him survive the adventure.

J says: “I’ve been doing a bit more running and keeping myself fit for when there are physical tasks to be done. I’d hate to be that person that everyone’s relying on and all I’ve got to do is kind of pull something up the rest of the way and I’m absolutely knackered and I stop us getting our little bit of cake with our rice and beans.”

J is well prepared for the challenge – he’s already bungee-jumped out of a helicopter and been skydiving for a Five DVD.

And he has already spoken to his friend and former band mate Ritchie Neville about his experiences on reality TV show The Farm to get some tips.

On being asked to take part in the show, J says: “I’m usually pessimistic especially about things that I think will be good. I am the eternal pessimist but with this thing, from the start of it, I just had this really good feeling that I was going to be doing it full stop – so much so that I even started kind of preparing a month and a half ago.”

He adds: “I don’t feel nervous at all yet. I absolutely can’t wait to do it. I’m sure when I get in there the reality of it will hit home.”

He adds: “I just love taking myself out of my comfort zones. I’ve spent the past five or six years since doing the band with various philosophies. I’ve been reading and just stretching my mind a little bit, and I think this all sounds quite sort of easy, but I think when you’re in quite close confines with nine other people some of whom might be quite antagonistic, and it’s a kind of a stretch of a thing to do especially with nothing to take your mind away from anything.”

J loves the great outdoors and his book collection includes an SAS survival guide and a Ray Mears book.

He says: “I genuinely have a fondness for the outdoors as you can see by some of my books in there. I’ve kind of been raised quite a bit in the outdoors from being a kid. I used to live in Canada and we used to go camping in the Rocky Mountains, so I just love the outdoors and I love anything extreme sports like jumping out of planes and anything that stretches my mind.”

On what he will miss the most J immediately says: “Privacy. Because the more time I spend with people, then I have to have some time to myself I just need some ‘me’ time. So I’ll miss some privacy. I will miss some good food and I will miss a really nice cup of coffee because I absolutely love coffee.

“Phobia-wise there’s not many things that bother me. Although somebody said to me there’s a difference in being able to hold a tarantula and then having 30 of them crawling across your face and the legs going in your ears.”

On the trials he adds: “I don’t think there’s anything I would refuse to do but you never ever know what these twisted minds are going to come up with on this programme.”

J is a fan of the show and says: “I enjoy it I just enjoy the absolute stupidness of it. I love, not in a cruel way, but it makes some laugh seeing how easily some people absolutely crumble as soon as they’re taken out of living in their flat in London.”

But the former pop star is worried about how he will cope surviving on the meagre rations.

“I think I’m the same as probably 98 per cent of the guys. When my belly hasn’t got the sufficient amount in it, I can get a little bit short tempered. I can hold it off for a while but then eventually if I don’t get some food it just kind of kicks in and I’ll become grumpy. I start getting really pessimistic.”

“So you’ll probably see me sulking over on a stool somewhere that I’ve shaped out of some branch – my sulking stool – if I don’t get enough food.”

It sounds like J will be able to improvise though if lack of food becomes a problem though.
He says: “I might be off in the forest hunting for wild goods.”

On whether or not he has a girlfriend J explains: “I suppose I’m kind of the typical bloke, I’ve been in and out of something for a while. It’s all down to me not knowing really what I want. So I go through phases of kind of being quite involved for a few months and then I get scared about it and go to India for a month or something and spend time by myself.”

When asked whether he could possibly find love in the jungle J says: “Yeah who knows? Who knows what happens? Yes, it could happen that there’s someone in the jungle that’s appealing on the eye and on the mind and something, you know, happens. You never ever know what happens in different circumstances.”