I start with one Harry, only to talk about another. Today’s Hoddle marks the first of my Harry Redknapp-centered reviews of I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, where the contestants shouted and one couldn’t stop talking about a bacon sandwich. (You’ll guess who.)
Ramble of the Day
From the opening sequence, I knew that the Harry Redknapp we all know and have feelings about would show up. Asked to perform a twirl of sorts, most of the contestants nailed it, but Redknapp’s was a bit slow and somewhat awkward, but hilarious, expected, and a little bit affable. He clearly has no idea what he was getting into.
The same was true for me. It was my first ever time watching the show, though it was hardly awkward for me — I’m an admirer of reality television after all, the British variety especially. Of course I would enjoy this, and I certainly got a kick out of how the show gave James McVey, John Barrowman, Rita Simons, and Sair Khan a little bit of glamour with drinks on a boat before throwing them into the wilderness, asking them to climb up ladders over a cliff and unhooking tiny flags. It was quickly clear that the stakes were high; “losers can’t be choosers,” which was funny the first time host Declan Donnelly said it, and the winners got to pick their next teammates. McVey and Simons won, meaning they got to pick two of Redknapp, Nick Knowles, Fleur East, and Anne Hegerty. They went with the latter two, looking for physicality and brains.
The distinct privilege of being on a team with Redknapp, then, went to Knowles, Khan, and Barrowman, who recognized his new teammate immediately. “Oh my God,” he said as the helicopter he and Khan were in was coming towards Redknapp and Knowles, “that’s Harry Redknapp.”
Just before that, though, the Redknapp show had begun. He introduced himself by admitting he, like me, had never seen an episode of the show, and randomly started talking about ketchup. He shared a sweet fact about meeting his wife Sandra at 17, but only because he had to tell us that she’s basically done everything for him since. “Who’s going to wash my pants?,” he asked. We still don’t have the answer. Before he was finally whisked away into the Australian wild, he was happy to meet The Chase’s Hegerty and admitted that he loves her show, but “never get[s] a question right.”
It was no matter, because the red team went on a winning streak after losing its first challenge [insert joke about Redknapp turning around Tottenham here]. He was tasked with fending off a crab and other creepy crawlies to find five tokens by sticking his hand in a box that he couldn’t see into. He only screamed twice, and quickly handed the tokens off to Knowles, who had to insert the tokens into slots in a similar box. The team won and picked Malique Thompson-Dwyer as its final member before meeting up with hosts Donnelly and Holly Willoughby.
It wasn’t bad for a guy who essentially introduced himself to his teammates by telling them about the time he ran over his wife. “Don’t anyone trust me anymore” behind a wheel, he said, describing the incident as a “nightmare.” It was a short retelling, as he closed it off by saying, “You couldn’t make it up, could ya?” On the opposite side of that challenge, Redknapp said his team was “motivated,” more so than Donnelly’s Newcastle United. The man with the banter had officially arrived.
The streak continued with a final challenge, as both teams were asked to ride out to sea, grab a flag, and return to land and plant it. The yellow team’s Simons feared that the red team might have a leg up because they had a football coach who knew tactics amongst them. Hegerty smartly noted that Redknapp’s tactics probably didn’t extend into boating. No one took the opportunity to make a FRAAB joke, but the red team easily came out victorious through someone’s tactics. While the yellow boat sank almost immediately, the red team was swift, as Barrowman decided to push the boat from behind because there was not room for five people in one boat.
Redknapp, though, was mostly a bystander before dinner unless called upon. He stood with his hands in his pockets before selection even though East, Hegerty, and Knowles were posing at the helicopter. He leaned on the car they were in as they watched Thompson-Dwyer come down after skydiving, and when the contestants ran after Donnelly and Willoughby following the boating challenge, Redknapp was strolling at the back of the pack. He was seemingly saving his best for dinner.
The winners headed to Croc Creek, essentially the nice place to sleep. Already, Redknapp was unimpressed, thinking the residence would be “more luxurious.” When cooked emu came for dinner, he was floored. He thought there would be a bacon sandwich and a cheese roll waiting in a caravan off-set, thinking there would be a break from the wilderness and essentially believing the show was a farce. He didn’t want to eat the emu because he saw an emu puppet on television and felt bad, but after complaining about not having a bacon sandwich again, he suggested that he might have emu for Christmas dinner. He changed his mind once again, and that was that for Redknapp.
For tonight’s episode, I’ll count how many times he says “bacon sandwich.” Anyone who guesses right gets a special shoutout at the top of tomorrow’s Hoddle. (I’ll guess two.)
tl;dr: Running over your wife and wanting a bacon sandwich, Episode One of The Harry Redknapp Show.
Links of the Day
More than 200 footballers have called for the election of a new PFA chief executive.
Croatia manager Zlatko Dalić will speak to defender Dejan Lovren about the comments he made about the Spanish team after their match last week.
Chris Gunter will break the record for Welsh national team caps, and would like to use Gareth Bale’s private plane to fly out his family members for the occasion in Albania.
Today’s longer read: Alec Fenn on English non-league side Hashtag United, currently in its first season of play after becoming a YouTube sensation for FourFourTwo