22:35 Sunday 11 November 2012

SLIDESHOW: Nadine Dorries makes a splash as I'm A Celebrity gets under way

Written byRachel Extance

Mid-Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries began her I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! journey captaining a sinking ship - and she will face a Bushtucker trial.

It came after the contestants were split into two teams and challenged to find their way to a helicopter on the other side of an island.

The winners enjoyed one last night of luxury in a hotel room before entering the jungle, but Ms Dorries and her teammates actor Colin Baker, darts champion Eric Bristow, reality TV star Hugo Taylor and former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts had to make camp. 

At the start of the show, Ms Dorries asked: "How hard can it be?"

But the politician, who has announced she is donating her parliamentary salary for as long as she is on the show to children's charities, said the night under the stars had been "one of the worst nights of my life".

And at the end of the show it was revealed the outspoken MP will face squeamish soap star Helen Flanagan in Bushtucker trial "Bug Burial".

While the Croc Creek team made their way to the camp across a tree top rope walk, Ms Dorries took charge of the Snake Rock team's task of navigating a boat across a lake.

She acted as cox, but the boat sank before the team reached the other side with the celebs tipped into the water to the tune of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On.

Nadine Dorries MP hopes I'm A Celebrity will help her connect with millions of people. Pic: ITV
Nadine Dorries MP hopes I'm A Celebrity will help her connect with millions of people. Pic: ITV

Speaking about her role in the task, she said: "I knew it was important to have a strategy and be co-ordinated and tight. I didn't lose my rag but I think I was direct in what I expected other people to be doing."

Ms Dorries has been unaware of the furore over her appearance on the ITV show because contestants are not allowed any communication with the outside world.

The MP has had the Conservative whip withdrawn and is facing a potential investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon

As tonight's show began, presenter Declan Donnally said: "Good evening Prime Minister. The phone numbers for future Bushtucker trials are coming up shortly."

The MP got her wish to talk about politics - but her decision to take part in I'm A Celebrity got a mixed reception from her team mates. 

Made In Chelsea's Hugo said: "If she was my MP I would expect her to be at work, not here."

Asked by darts player Eric Bristow if she would like to be Prime Minister, Ms Dorries said 'no'.

She wrote piece for Conservative Home, which was published today, explaining her reasons for going on the show.

Ms Dorries said: “When I read that more people watch the X- Factor final than voted in the general election, it is something I pondered on.

“I may have to eat a kangaroo's testicle, but I may also get to talk about a twenty week limit for abortion. I may have to sleep with rats, but I may also get the chance to big up Boris whilst I am at it. It is a publicity gift.”

However her team continued their unlucky streak when boxer David Haye beat Hugo in the first bushtucker trial of the series and so they had to content themselves with rice and beans for dinner.

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