November 19, 2015
Former Burnham pupil George Shelley progresses on 'I'm A Celebrity'

The mother of former Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge school pupil George Shelley says she's hugely proud of her son as he progresses in the ITV1 show "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here".

The 22 year-old - who rose to fame on the The X Factor in hit boyband Union J - is a former pupil of Burnham-On-Sea's St Andrew's Junior School and also studied his GCSEs at King Alfred School in Highbridge.

George is hoping his experiences in the wilds of Costa Rica as a young boy will help him cope with life in the Australian jungle.

But his mum Toni has revealed this is not George's first experience of living in the jungle.

As a 10-year-old boy he travelled with his mum Toni and brothers Harry, then seven, and William, then 13, to spend a month in Montezuma. Toni had a friend who had lived in the area for six months and decided to take her boys out to the jungle for an experience of a lifetime.

The family flew out with only a backpack of essentials each and rented a hut in Kabuya. George's mum Toni, who now lives in Clevedon, said: "We have always been a family which has enjoyed being close to nature. I thought it would be a great experience to give the children."

"Where we were staying was right on the edge of the jungle. There were jaguars prowling in the gardens as well as boa constrictor snakes and howler monkeys."

George made the most of his early jungle experience, swimming in lagoons and enjoying jungle treks.

Toni first discovered that George – who had planned to take a monkey style dressing gown into the jungle with him – had been approached to appear in the show just a couple of weeks ago. It was a very closely guarded secret, " she laughed. "But he was really excited at the challenge."

And she is now getting ready to fly out to Australia herself this Sunday so she can keep an eye on her son.

"The only thing which will freak him out is if he sees a moth, "says Toni. "He can cope with spiders and snakes, but if he sees a moth it will totally spook him. He has always hated them and as a child."

Gossip is circulating in national newspapers about a possible romance with jungle campmate, Hollyoaks actress, Jorgie Porter. George is currently single.

The pair has been spotted hugging as they embark on a series of challenges and get used to camp life.

"George is a very loving, friendly, affectionate and tactile person, " said Toni. "I think he will want to protect all the ladies in there and make a fuss of them. That's just how he is."

Toni said George had no idea before flying to Australia over a week ago who his camp mates would be.

She added: "He gets on with everyone so will be fine. We did watch last year's show before we went in and when he saw some of the trials, his eyes were bulging out of his head."

"I'm so proud of him and there is a lot of people back home rooting for him. I'd love him to be crowned King of the Jungle."


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