Irish model Nadia Forde will be heading into the jungle for I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here, but she’s unknown in the UK, says Arlene Harris.
NADIA Forde was unknown to the public until she was linked with professional golfer, Rory McIlroy, after his engagement to Danish tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki, had ended.
But the model and aspiring singer has been quietly working on her career and has now landed a role that could catapult her onto the showbiz stage.
This weekend, the 25-year-old will entered the I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! jungle Down Under, with, among others, The Only Way Is Essex star, Gemma Collins, Allo Allo actress, Vicki Michelle, newsreader, Michael Beurke, TV host, Melanie Sykes and Coronation Street’s Craig Charles.
While none of Forde’s fellow contestants are Hollywood A-listers, social media in the UK is buzzing with questions about Forde’s identity (and that she has supposedly taken the place of Hollyoaks star, Gemma Merna).
The viewing, voting public in the UK does not know Forde.
The same could be said of her in Ireland, but fame has allegedly always been her goal.
“Nadia seems to have hit the papers out of nowhere, but this is something she has always been striving towards,” says an anonymous source.
“She started out doing some modelling, a bit of panto and some reality TV — anything, really, which would get her in the spotlight.
“Then, there was talk of her going out with Rory McIlroy, which she cleverly refused to comment on and now she is on I’m a Celebrity — which is a funny one, really, as none of the people on the show are actually celebrities.
“But, you never know, she may get really lucky and get more work out of it — I suppose, only time will tell.”
Derek Daniels is the co-owner of Assets Model Agency, in Dublin, where Nadia began her career. He says she owes her high profile to the photographer who ensured her diary was full.
“We found Nadia, but Brian McEvoy made her,” he says. “If it wasn’t for him noticing her eight years ago, she would never have got anywhere — so he deserves a lot of credit. With his help, she became a prominent press-call model as she’s a pretty girl and was always friendly and easy to work with.”
But will these credentials help her to survive the terrors of the Australian jungle?
“I was really surprised to hear that she had been chosen for I’m a Celebrity,” says Daniels.
“More so for the fact that she is terrified of creepy crawlies — so watching Nadia cope with all the challenges that will be thrown at her will be hilarious.
“I have already programmed my TV to record the show, as I don’t want to miss any of it.
“Ultimately, it’s hard to know what she will get out of the show — she’s not well-known in the UK but because of the power of TV, and this programme in particular, she may do really well.
“The earning power of some of the contestants goes through the roof when they come out of the jungle and, even though it may not last very long, there is the potential to make a killing in the first year or so.
“So it’s hard to know what it will do for her career, but I can’t wait to see her in action over there,” says Daniels.
But PJ Gibbons, editor of Social & Personal magazine, says he has no qualms about Nadia’s suitability for the show and says she will be fun.
“I’m not at all surprised that Nadia Forde was spotted for I’m a Celebrity,” he says.
“She fits the bill perfectly — she’s beautiful, intelligent, talented and, most important of all for a show like this, she’s always up for a laugh, and a challenge.
“The nice thing about her too is that she’s not one of those ‘precious’ glamour models, who’s entirely consumed by how she looks and who is too afraid to go out there and break a nail, if needs be.
“I think she’ll be a great success in the show and will be prepared to take on whatever is thrown at her. Nadia is a girl’s girl in many ways, but she’s also ambitious and always up for a challenge — I think the other contestants in this show should definitely watch out.”
The jungle challenge has launched many an aspiring celebrity and resurrected others who were thought to be long past their sell-by-date.
Gibbons says her stint in the wild may do wonders for Forde’s fledgling career in the UK.
“As for what happens to her career after she leaves the jungle, and whether or not she sticks it out to the end, to claim this year’s crown on I’m a Celebrity, I think the only way is up for this 25-year-old,” Gibbons says.
“Her TV show, Nadia Goes to Hollywood, proved a ratings winner for TV3 earlier this summer. And, despite preparations for the jungle, she has recently been back in the studio working with Chris Apostle (who has previously worked with Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera) on her next single, which is due for release in January, 2015.
In addition to this, she’s working on a new TV documentary to be aired sometime in the new year. When it comes to Nadia, I’d say ‘watch this space’.”
I’m a Celebrity... Get me Out of Here continues this week on ITV.
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