The makers of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! Have denied rumours that former Sex Pistol John Lydon has quit the show.
Lydon reportedly refused to speak to the press at a photoshoot for the 10 contestants on Friday night and then left, sparking rumours he had walked out on his star companions.
The 47-year-old ex-punk rocker had earlier turned up late for a champagne reception at the group’s plush hotel, after suffering severe jet lag from the flight to Australia.
But a spokeswoman for Granada last night insisted Lydon would be there when the latest series of the show begins on ITV1 at 9pm tomorrow.
“He has definitely not quit,” she said.
“He is making preparations to join the rest of the contestants in the jungle.”
Bookmakers William Hill cut the odds on Lydon, known in his Sex Pistol days as Johnny Rotten, being chucked off the show for bad behaviour from 8-1 to 5-1.
Lydon is still second favourite at 4-1 to win the show, behind soccer hardman Neil Ruddock at 11-4. Glamour model Jordan is rated at 4-9 to go topless first.
Ruddock, Lydon, Jordan and the other seven celebrities, who include the royal reporter Jennie Bond, have been getting tips on how to cope for 10 days in the rainforest.
They were being taken to a wildlife sanctuary to learn basic jungle survival skills and to find out about the wildlife they are likely to encounter.
Tomorrow morning the team will finally be dropped by helicopter into the jungle and must trek to their base at the foot of a volcano.
Earlier, the programme makers denied claims that the show’s jungle camp had been cleared of dangerous snakes and insects and insisted it was an “exceptionally cruel” place.
Reports claimed Granada had hired Aborigines to hunt down and exterminate any dangerous creepy-crawlies from the area where the celebrities will be staying.
But a Granada spokeswoman said: “We stand by the fact that the area used for I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! Is an exceptionally cruel environment where dangerous snakes and insects are indigenous to the area and the conditions are humid and very hot.
“We refute claims that the camp has been cleared prior to the celebrities going in.
“It is also important to point out that the 10 celebrities have been removed from their pampered lifestyles to live for up to two weeks in this environment with only the most basic essentials.”
Lydon, Ruddock, Jordan and Bond are joined on the show by Alex Best and ex-pop stars Peter Andre and Kerry McFadden.
The others are shamed aristocrat Lord Brocket, ex-Olympic athlete Diane Modahl and DJ Mike Read.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes revealed that Jordan had placed a bet on herself to win the contest.
Ladbrokes spokesman Warren Lush: “Jordan staked £200 (€290.50) at odds of 8/1 on herself to win at a Ladbrokes shop in Central London earlier this week.
“If she wins, her designated charity will pocket £1,800 (€2,600). We are also planning ways that Jordan can increase this figure while in the jungle.
“Unfortunately for Jordan, we have not offered a price on her to flash her famous assets as it is, in bookies’ language, a banker.”