Cheryl Baker reveals how she got on when she and four other celebs braved it for three weeks in the great outdoors and why she'd love to do I'm A Celebrity....
Singer Cheryl Baker is one of five famous faces waving goodbye to their comfy beds and flat-screen TVs for three weeks to get up close and personal with the great outdoors.
Cheryl, who shot to fame with her band Bucks Fizz in the 80s and was a contestant on last year’s Dancing On Ice, is joined by Michelle Collins, Bobby Davro, Joe Swash and comedian Stephen Bailey as the intrepid five pack up their celebrity lifestyles to go camping for three weeks on the Jurassic coast and the Isle of Wight.
As the group hit the road and trial a range of unconventional tents, forage for food and contend with compost loos, how will they fare?
Here, 64-year-old Cheryl Baker, tells us about the mishaps, the desperate measures that were required during a very rainy night and why she’d love to do I’m A Celebrity….
TV Times: What made you want to do the show? Have you camped before?
Cheryl Baker: “I love a challenge and when I saw which other celebs were going I knew we’d have a good time so I thought, ‘Why not?’ I camped a lot when I was younger with my girls and my husband Steve and I’ve always enjoyed it, although there’s a lot more to it these days than just pitching a tent. You’ve got all sorts of glamping sites and different experiences which is what we tried out for the show. I would have been quite happy staying in one place!”
TVT: Tell us about the different tents you tried?
CB: “Some of them were crazy, some were magnificent and some were really basic. The lowlight was trying one that was made from re-enforced cardboard. It would be fine if you were going to a festival or something, but it had no windows, was very dark and it smelt so strongly of cardboard!”
TVT: What home comforts did you miss the most?
CB: “The loo, the sink, a decent oven and a lovely big king-size bed with a great big fluffy duvet, all those things! But the beauty of staying where we stayed was the magnificent views. I didn’t realise how beautiful Dorset is. I’ve been to the Isle of Wight a few times, I’ve got friends there. Dorset is a county you tend to drive through to get to Devon and Cornwall but it deserves to have more tourism, it’s absolutely stunning. I took loads of photos.”
TVT: How did you get on with the other celebs?
CB: “I knew Bobby from before but I’d never met the others, but I was sure we’d get on and I was right. It was a really lovely mix of people. We all had such a laugh and worked really well together. We’re all still in touch.”
TVT: Who were you sharing a tent with?
CB: “Mainly Michelle, because she was the other bird. The very first tent we stayed in I shared with both Michelle and Stephen. That was interesting. It was pouring with really heavy rain and in the middle of the night I was busting to go to the loo.
“I was worried about unzipping the tent and waking everyone up and the rain and cold air coming through. Plus the toilet block was miles away so I was lying there thinking, what can I do? I didn’t have anything to go to the loo in so I took my T-shirt off and weed on my T-shirt. Then I put it in plastic bag and tied it up. It’s camping! Desperate times call for desperate measures.”
TVT: What was your highlight of the three weeks?
CB: “I loved the kayaking. Bobby, Joe and I went out along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. It was exhilarating and the sea was quite choppy but I enjoyed the challenge of it. Sadly we didn’t make it as far as we’d hoped because Bobby fell into the water.”
TVT: What was the lowlight of the trip?
CB: “Without doubt the cardboard tent. Also we had a stargazing tent, which Michelle and me put up. In fact, Michelle and I put up a lot more tents than the boys. Just saying… just putting it out there. Girl power! We had to put the stargazing tent up at the top of a cliff on a really windy day, I’m amazed we didn’t take off. We could have still been flying over the Channel right now.”
TVT: What are you like with creepy crawlies?
CB: “I’m absolutely fine whereas Bobby has got a serious phobia. Even the thought of a fake spider on his bed is absolute hell. I’m fine with pretty much anything, rats, mice, snakes, they don’t bother me at all.”
TVT: You sound like you could definitely handle something like I’m A Celebrity?
CB: “Oh yes, I might have a problem eating slugs and kangaroo balls but I’d actually love to do that show. I’d chew my own arm off! They seem to only have one old person each year, a chosen oldie.”
TVT: Did you learn any new skills?
CB: “I’m pretty practical anyway but I learnt how to put up a tent properly. I guess in the past I’ve thought it was more of a man’s job, like barbequeing, but I can do it properly by myself now. We also had a cooking lesson with a ‘wild chef’ who was cooking on an open fire, it was fabulous, he wrapped squash in foil for one meal and it tasted absolutely wonderful. We all loved that, you get a lovely smoky flavour from the fire.”
TVT: Who did most of the cooking?
CB: “We all mucked in, everyone did a bit. Some were better than others! The boys went fishing and caught some fantastic fish to eat and I went blackberry picking and made some blackberry crepes one morning, we all pitched in. We’d all sit round the fire in the evening and tell funny stories.”
TVT: What else have you got coming up in 2019?
CB: “We recently released an album called Christmas with The Fizz and in 2019 we’ll do more gigs and finish a new album. Jay Aston (fellow singer with The Fizz) has had cancer of the tongue but she is much better now so we are all looking forward to doing more touring.”
TVT: What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
CB: “My New Year’s resolution is never make New Year’s resolutions! If I made resolutions and broke them I’d feel like I’d let myself down. If you want to change something in your life then just get on and do it. Don’t wait for New Year’s Eve.”
Celebrity 5 Go Camping, starts Friday 4th January, 8pm on Channel 5