They may have clashed in the jungle over cooking – but Fred Sirieix is convinced he can find the perfect recipe for romance in Josie Gibson's life.
The star of First Dates has already begun making plans as a matchmaker for single TV host Josie for when she leaves the jungle. Speaking after he was the third contestant evicted from I'm A Celebrity, Fred said: "We talked a lot about Josie’s love life and I am on the search for a man for her.
"There are two ways to go, we can go for First Dates because we are going to be filming again but I think I need to fast forward this and I need to think about my friends because she does not want to meet a celebrity, understandably. There is more chance I am thinking about friends and who could match her."
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Referring to someone on the ITV production team, he added: "There was this very strong New Zealand guy and she said, ‘Oh you New Zealand guys are big and strong,’ and I was thinking, she likes a man to be a man, not a skinny one like me, she likes a strong one.
"She is very easy going, her son is her priority, she is very big with her work I know exactly the type of man she likes but I need to think who I am going to introduce her to. She is busy and she does not have time to waste because it is either Reggie(her son) or it is work but also, I had a long conversation with her, as a mum it was very difficult for her."
Fred's mission to find Josie a man may come as a surprise to some viewers as in the past few days they seemed to be clashing over her cooking in camp. When she took over from trained chef Fred, he was overly critical of her attempts to cook, mainly because she failed to keep items for stock or flavouring their rice the next day.
His criticism and anger aimed at her is thought to be one of the main reasons he was evicted as some viewers dubbed him sexist. But Fred said: "I am not sexist. I am not mean. I did not see it like that.
"In terms of for example, when Nick started to cook, we had many of conversations before so Josie for example said she does not cook at all, she likes to go to restaurants with her son, she said ‘I never cook’ When I was telling her about cooking for tomorrow she was not interested.
"I should have just sat back, at the end of the day she was the chef that is what I should have done. I was a little worried for all of us because I was like, what have we got tomorrow?
"It is not a question of sexism, it is not a question of being mean or having a go at Josie. I think she is a lovely girl. If she was offended of course I will apologise. I do not want people to feel bad and if someone thinks I did something wrong I will apologise straight away and say I am so sorry, of course."
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Fred also recalled his rows with Nigel Farage in the camp, having been the one person to really stand up and criticise him, dubbing his previous immigration campaign poster "shameful" and saying that he spoke "b***cks" when it came to trying to blame Europe for overfishing problems. But when they did chores and stayed away from politics the pair did get on well.
And Fred said: "I have never been as conflicted as I am with a person as I am with Nigel Farage. I do not like the politician and I don’t like the views and what he stands for, I think that is quite clear for everybody. But I got to know the man and I have really enjoyed being with Nigel Farage the man.
"In camp we have the same work ethic, he is a doer. We like history, we like current affairs, we can talk about people, we are roughly the same age. I look at him, I raise my eyebrows and this is where the conflict comes.
"When the letters were read out we were all looking at each other. Everyone was very proud of us and you could see he was so emotional and he went to have a moment by himself and I know he couldn’t talk. I wanted to go and see him but I couldn’t see him because he is very closed like that. He told us and you have to respect that and respect the boundaries.
"Everything I wanted to say I put on the table. I pull no punches and I say as I think but at the same time there is a conflict because he was a nice man to be with in camp and actually we have a lot in common."
Fred, who picked Sam Thompson as his potential winner, also had an initial clash with YouTube star Nella Rose. But he used his interview to urge people to give her a chance and said trolling of her on social media must stop.
Fred, who posed for photos with his fiancee Fruitcake after the interview, added: "I think it is very unfair and very unjust the way she is being treated. I am really totally against it.
"Nella is a great girl, she is fun. My children love her, when they found out I was with Nella Rose they were like, you are so lucky. We got on very well.
"There was a misunderstanding, misunderstandings happen all the time but who doesn’t make a mistake. Who doesn’t put his foot in it. Who isn’t wrong at times?
"I don’t have anything against Nella, I saw her when I came out, we had a hug. I really like Nella.
"And you don’t know what people have gone through in their lives. Nella had it tough in her life, she came from Belgium very young, her parents died, when she came out of the jungle her brother didn’t arrive. Have a bit of kindness and respect and love inside your heart imagine if you were in someone else’s situation."
He urged: "The hate has to stop. It is not fair and it is not going to be in my name. You have a responsibility to stop it because she is a young girl, she is at the very beginning of her career, what she has achieved by herself."
Looking ahead, he has his wedding to Fruitcake in the new year but also thinks the time in the jungle may have changed his outlook on life for the future. He said: "I left London a month ago. You do a week in isolation and there are only so many things you can do with your chaperone and you think about your phone for example. I need to change my phone habits. I am too on it and I don’t need to be like that.
"You have to embrace it, it is a test of character, actually it is just life. Now I am 51, I am closer to being 75 than I am to 30. I need to make the most of what I have got left and this is what I have taken from this experience.
"It is not life changing but it has turned my life on its head and it has made me think. I can’t slow down time but I need to enjoy the time."
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