Who is Gillian McKeith? All you need to know about I'm A Celeb star

I'm A Celebrity...South Africa campmates and viewers were surprised with her sudden entry into the jungle.

Gillian McKeith on I'm A Celebrity... South Africa
(Image credit: Getty)

I'm A Celebrity campmates got a surprise last night when a special delivery arrived in the South African jungle - and as the new contestant revealed herself, viewers asked who is Gillian McKeith?

Ant and Dec are back with a brand new season of I'm a Celeb...South Africa and while some viewers are keen to know where in South Africa is I'm a Celebrity filmed and when does I'm a Celebrity start, Others want to know more about the returning contestants who are competing to be crowned Jungle legend.

The series kicked off with three teams , each completing nerve-wracking challenges to win stars for camp, and after securing six of the possible nine stars, campmates settled into the jungle which they will be calling home for the next three weeks.

But the arrival of a new campmate got everyone talking as we look at all you need to know about the new arrival...

Who is Gillian McKeith?

Gillian McKeith is a Scottish TV personality and writer who has starred on shows including Channel 4's You Are What You Eat, Dr Gillian McKeith's Feel Fab Forever on Granada Television and W Network's Eat Yourself Skinny. She took part in the 10th season of I'm A Celebrity.

Gillian was born in Perth, Scotland to her shipyard worker father Robert and her office worker mother and claims she grew up on junk food. Telling people at the time of her healthy eating shows, "We all know the kind of food I grew up with—a typical Scottish diet. We'd have meat three times a day. I certainly never ate a mango, and had no idea what macrobiotic meant."

Gillian McKeith book signing You Are What You Eat

(Image credit: Getty)

Her father, a long term smoker, died in 2005 from cancer of the oesophagus.

Gillian is married to American lawyer, Howard Magaziner whom she met while he was studying in Edinburgh. The couple moved to America and she helped him run a chain of health food shops before returning to London to live with their two daughters, Afton, 23, and Skylar, 28.

She suffers from Scoliosis, which according to NHS Inform, is an abnormal twisting and curvature of the spine, which causes her pain.

Gillian McKeith attends the Well Child Awards with her daughters Afton and Skylar

(Image credit: Getty)

Is Gillian McKeith actually a doctor?

Gillian McKeith is not considered to be an actual medical doctor, she had been using the academic title 'Doctor" in advertisements to promote her theories on nutrition, after becoming a member of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. The association was criticised because it doesn't run checks on the qualifications of its members and Gillian agreed to stop using it in February 2007, following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Prior to this she had graduated in linguistics from the University of Edinburgh in 1981 and moved to the United States where she later received an MA in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. She claims to have received an MA in holistic nutrition in 1994 and a PhD in that same field in 1997, both via distance-learning programmes from the non-accredited American Holistic College of Nutrition, later the Clayton College of Natural Health in Birmingham, Alabama, since closed.

What is Gillian McKeith famous for?

Gillian McKeith is famous for having one of the most hilarious I'm A Celebrity bushtucker trial expressions ever - after being voted time and time again by viewers to do the trials. Her most iconic moment was during the School Dinners trial of the 2010 season. 

But Gillian even went on to feint while the show was live on air as hosts Ant and Dec explained what the next trial would be, The Unfair Ground and announced that Gillian would be doing the trial. She rose from her seat and muttered, "I don't feel very well." 

Ant told Gillian, "We'll explain it all, don't worry, we'll explain exactly what is going on" as he took her by the hand.

To which she replied, "I feel really ill" before collapsing to the ground.

Ant calls for Bob the medic to come on set, and he can be heard telling assistants to get the oxygen.

As she was attended to, Ant and Dec cut to an ad break.

What happened between Shaun Ryder and Gillian McKeith?

Shaun Ryder and Gillian McKeith were both contestants in the 10th season of I'm A Celebrity and during their time in the Australian jungle, they had several clashes on camera. Forced to stand in freezing water, Shaun described her as a "F****ng irritating woman" to which she replied, "You say nasty things all the time…your tone, everything. The way you speak to everyone."

They also argued when Gillian told Shaun not to smoke in front of her. He replied, "You f***ing what? I’ll smoke where I want, you can go in the f***ing toilet. I smoke where I want, don’t tell me where I can’t smoke.”

She then asked him to not swear and his heated reply at the time was, "I’ll f***ing swear when I want to swear so f*** off.”

He later apologised and Gillian described their relationship as "love-hate", and that she was often "frightened" of him.

But the bad words didn't end there. Shaun said she was a "bit of a d***" who "just had no manners" and when he exited the original season, he told Ant and Dec "If Gillian was my wife, she would be in pieces in a plastic bag, deep in a hole in the back garden.”

In the latest season, Season 21, Shaun admitted to campmate Paul Burrell that he "nearly killed" Gillian as he fumed when he realised she had returned.

Scenes which are due to air tonight have him saying in the Bush Telegraph, "Gillian came out of a box. I was very surprised. I probably could have done without it being Gillian, yeah." He later told them, "I've been trying to be nice to her. I’m a different person, whatever. I don’t think Gillian was pleased to see me."

And when Gillian is asked she replies, ""How do I feel about Shaun Ryder being here? I said hello, he said hello, it was all very cordial. What can I say?"

Paul asked Shaun later that evening, "Is she as mad as a box of frogs?" to which Shaun replies, "Yeah… I nearly killed her."

Speaking on behalf of Heart Bingo, body language expert, Adrianne Carter, told Goodto.com, When Gillian appeared, it is very obvious that it wasn’t a genuinely nice surprise for anyone – no genuine smiles just surprise and shock.”

She added, “Shaun reacted the strongest and pulled away from the group, that would’ve been to process his feelings and disappoint – she’s probably the last person he wanted to see come out of the box.”

I'm A Celebrity returns weeknights at 9pm on ITV1.

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Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)