Arlene Phillips prepares for Bushtucker trials on I’m A Celebrity with ‘mindfulness meditation’ 

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Arlene Phillips prepares for terrifying Bushtucker trials on I’m A Celebrity with ‘mindfulness meditation’


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Arlene Phillips has resorted to mindfulness meditation to prepare for the terrifying Bushtucker trials she will face on I’m A Celebrity.

The former Strictly judge, who at 78 is the oldest contestant to take part in the ITV reality show, has been learning breathing exercises to help her quell her fears when she encounters creepy-crawlies such as cockroaches and spiders.

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Ms Phillips, who will be unveiled as a camp mate in the first episode of this year’s series tonight, said: ‘I have been learning to breathe through my nose.

BREATHING DEEPLY: Arlene Phillips joins the I’m A Celebrity camp tonight

BREATHING DEEPLY: Arlene Phillips joins the I’m A Celebrity camp tonight

‘I usually breathe through my mouth but now I know I have to keep that shut and find my centre.

‘I put my hands on my ribs, breathe through my nose and that is my constant.

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‘And as I do that, I’m imagining whatever might be coming in my face or around my neck.

Arlene Phillips, Matty Lee, Kadeena Cox and David Ginola on I'm a Celebrity

Arlene Phillips, Matty Lee, Kadeena Cox and David Ginola on I’m a Celebrity

‘I’m going to try to find a place that I can go to that will take me away from what is really happening.

‘It’s going to be about being in the moment.’

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The founder of 1980s dance group Hot Gossip, who was sacked from Strictly and replaced by Alesha Dixon in 2009, said she also fears ‘war wounds’ from her dancing career might hold her back.

David Ginola, Louise Minchin, Snoochie Shy, Richard Madeley, Frankie Bridge, Kadeena Cox, Matty Lee, Naughty Boy, Ben Miller and Arlene Phillips who star in the new series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

David Ginola, Louise Minchin, Snoochie Shy, Richard Madeley, Frankie Bridge, Kadeena Cox, Matty Lee, Naughty Boy, Ben Miller and Arlene Phillips who star in the new series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

These include an injured left knee that needed surgery.

Ms Phillips said she had been asked by ITV to take part on the show for the last ten years but finally decided to say yes after putting it on her ‘bucket list’.

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‘I want to do lots of things before I die. I like to do things out of my comfort zone, often things that I didn’t think I would do,’ she said.

‘One thing I haven’t done yet is have a spider walk over my hand, so why not?’

The ex-BBC star, who is a grandmother of two, also confessed that 12 years after she was sacked by the BBC she can finally watch Strictly again.

She said: ‘I love the show, I watched it for the first time last Saturday night.’

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But we’re not sure meditation will be much help to Louise Minchin right now! 

Louise Minchin confessed to being terrified at walking a plank dangling 213ft above a lake in her first challenge for I’m A Celebrity.

In a bid to win a place in the main Gwrych Castle, the former BBC Breakfast presenter has to touch a button with her foot as the board she’s on wobbles in the air. The scene is due to be shown during tonight’s launch of the ITV programme.

Dressed in a bright orange jacket, Ms Minchin, 53, told her co-star, Emmerdale actor Danny Miller: ‘I can’t think of many things worse than this right now, it’s terrifying.’

SCARY: Louise Minchin balances on a thin plank high above a lake

SCARY: Louise Minchin balances on a thin plank high above a lake

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The losing team will be banished to the Castle Clink, where they will be made to live on rationed food.

Before the challenge got under way, host Ant McPartlin told the contestants: ‘This year is going to be tougher than ever.

‘All the celebrities will face gruelling challenges on their way to win the keys to the castle.’

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