COMEDIAN Andrew Maxwell saw his star rise in the UK after he took part in last year’s reality TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’
While he is well known in comedy circles and appeared on many panel shows, it was Ant and Dec’s yearly bug filled bootcamp in the Australian bush that made Andrew a household name.
“Comedy fans know me but the public didn’t ,” explains Andrew.
“The first day back I put my bins out, and all these binmen got out of their truck for a group selfie.”
Andrew describes the TV show as a, “billionaires version of living in a jungle.”
They stay in the jungle until they are voted out. They don’t get whisked off to nice hotels when the cameras stop. They remain camped in the mountains near the Gold Coast and hours away from any big city.
“You are put under the stress of a lack of food and a lack of sleep and the producers don’t know when they are going to get the good stuff so you are there 24/7.”
Andrew was in the jungle with Kate Gallway, Ian Wright, Caitlyn Jenner and the eventual winner ex-Eastenders actress Jacqueline Jossa.
There was a fair share of boredom and lots of fun that the series didn’t transmit.
“I spent an entire afternoon trying to teach Kate Gallaway how to speak in a Belfast accent
We never got there – she’s not going undercover anytime soon!”.
Participants are closed off from the public and their social media for a week before the show starts. Those celebs soon lose track of time and timelines in the jungle.
“We wake at dawn. We had no concept of time. You are looking at where the sun is. You go fully hippy.”
One of the highlights of the TV series happens in the first episode when contestants are brought to the top of a skyscraper to walk out on a plank. It looks sickeningly scary.
“It is way more scary than it looks! You are led around by ex SAS. They insist in putting bags over your head leading you onto the roof 20 stories high.”
This season the weather was at its worst. Even though it is summertime in Australia there was a massive gale blowing that day.
“We were all scythed up to do it. You have got to try to keep that rational side of the test. You are in a harness. They aren’t going to let you die!”
The task was cancelled because of the high winds only to be attempted again a few hours later.
“There was extra levels of physiological warfare before we even went to do it.”
“The whole thing was shaking. Even Ant and Dec were saying we have never attempted this in these high winds!”
The celebrities got through the task eventually and were afterwards dropped into their campsite.
While there, Andrew had a heated argument with football pundit Ian Wright. Andrew puts the altercation down to, “some ill feeling between two middle aged men who were really hungry and really tired and missing their wives.”
Andrew was voted off the show on Day 15, the second celeb to be voted out which had a surprising benefit. He had to wait a further week in Australia to join in the wrap-up episode.
“I had to remain until the Wrapping up party. Everybody is fully paid before the evictions start.
There is no award money for winning – you are staying on for personal pride and curiosity and all the rest of it.”
Andrew was transferred from the jungle to a Five Star Versace Hotel on the Gold Coast, a surfers paradise to hang out with his wife and kids by the pool until the series ended.
Maybe the smart contestant should always raise a ruckus in camp and get voted off asap.
Whatever about his jungle survival skills, it is comedy where Maxwell excels.
Reviews that refer to Andrew’s sublime timing, relaxed delivery style and killer punch-lines- the holy trinity of stand-up – are on the mark.
Hear all about his adventures, and his opinions on politics and Brexit from his keen analytical mind for current affairs when Andrew Maxwell appears at Dolan’s this Thursday February 27.