How to survive I'm a Celebrity: think of the money - and smile

Rhona Cameron: Being trapped with people you didn't get along with was the most difficult challenge

As a veteran of the first series of I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! I'll never forget Carol Thatcher's comments on winning series three. "And it just goes to show," she said, "there's no need for any acrimonious bickering ..." To be fair, love, if it hadn't been for all the acrimonious bickering on series one, I doubt there would have been a series two and three. No, the sad truth of it is, me going 12 rounds with Nigel Benn and Darren Day while starving and enduring torrential rain with no adequate waterproofs was a big part of why 12 million viewers were captivated.

In the first series, we genuinely didn't know if anyone was watching, and being trapped with people you didn't get along with was the most difficult challenge. Now, however, each contestant has the psychological cushion of a guaranteed career upgrade (albeit short-lived in many cases), an enormous amount of money to either improve their lives, or help destroy it, and a series of media interviews and exclusives to bring in at least enough cash for a ghost writer to pen your autobiography. Surely with those things on offer, it would be possible to sit round the campfire and sing songs with Sarah Palin and Arnold Schwarzenegger for two weeks without losing it.

Even after all this time, people often ask me what bugs I had to eat. I'm pleased to say none, but I was instead "buried alive" in a box underground for 15 minutes while someone hiding there kept grabbing my leg, which, of course, I thought was a rat, or a snake, or even worse, Nigel Benn with his Bible.

My advice to those taking part (this year's line-up has just been announced) would be simple. Bring a laxative. Make sure you have a good agent. If you are a topless model, don't get your clothes off too quickly. Don't trust anyone who brings a Bible and worst of all, starts quoting from it. Wash, otherwise people will only bitch about how badly you smell. Don't sing unless it's jokey and group-orientated, otherwise you'll look as if you're trying to audition for the West End. And most of all, darlings, smile, smile, smile: it increases your chances of presenting on ITV for a short while.

Good luck - and, for what it's worth, my money's on Martina Navratilova, my hero, one of the greatest athletes of all time and the world's most respected gay woman.

• Rhona Cameron's One Nighter tour is on now. For details, see

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