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Exclusive: Sam Thompson's new era: Radio, real friends and riding high

The Hits Radio host shares his happiest moments with HELLO!

Sam Thompson smiling in a hoodie
Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
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For many I'm a Celebrity… contestants, the challenging show is a springboard to propel their career to new heights, but for Sam Thompson, 31, his time in the jungle was so much more than that.

"Winning I'm a Celebrity… was the happiest I have been in my entire life," he tells HELLO! "I've watched the show my whole life and I felt like a competition winner when I was in the jungle. Every second of it was an absolute joy and after I won, I went back to the hotel room and cried. I'm still riding high on that happiness."

Though the show sent his already impressive career to the next level, Sam says: "For me, it's not the career benefit that comes from it. I will never ever lose that high of being in there. But I can't bring myself to watch the show back, I know I'll miss it so much. I just want to enjoy the memories I've got."

Who is Sam Thompson?

Sam Thompson, 31, rose to fame as part of the cast of Made In Chelsea, where he starred alongside his sister, Louise Thompson.

He appeared in the reality show between 2013 and 2021, before taking part in  Celebs Go Dating in 2018, 2019 and 2020, where he met his best friend, TOWIE star Pete Wicks.

Sam and Pete host a podcast together, Staying Relevant, and can often be seen on TikTok, attempting dance routines, much to Sam's delight and Pete's disdain.

man wearing suit on red carpet© Getty Images

Sam's girlfriend, Strictly star Zara McDermott also regularly appears on her boyfriend's TikTok, with the duo playing pranks on eachother.

The former reality star turned his hand to documentary making, too, hosting a Channel 4 show named Sam Thompson: Is This ADHD?, following his journey to receiving an ADHD diagnosis.

Sam also presents a weekly show on Hits Radio, and since winning I'm A Celebrity... in 2023 has been a regular on This Morning, hosting the competition slots.

Sam's next move

As well as being the reigning King of the Jungle, Sam presents on Hits Radio, a role he took on in 2022, taking a step away from his reality TV roots, after he began his career on Made in Chelsea in 2013 when he was 20.

"I love everything about TV, but I feel like my reality TV days are definitely done and my radio era has begun," he shares. "Radio has stolen my heart, and I love being on the airwaves and interacting with people.

Sam Thompson laughing and chatting with the public© Matt Allexander
Sam Thompson loves chatting with the public

"You're part of their every day and I love it more than anything. It makes my month to talk to listeners who enjoy my show and share a giggle with them." Sam isn't alone in loving a laugh; new research from Babybel shows that 54% of Brits feel better for sharing a giggle - if that's not motivation for having a laugh, we don't know what is!

 READ: Zara McDermott and Sam Thompson relationship timeline: split, reunion and more 

Sam's happy people

Sam is most definitely a people person, and it's easy to strike an immediate bond with him. It's clear to see why his jungle campmates and fellow celebrities love being in his company, and Sam is quick to name his best friend Pete Wicks as his 'happy person.'

two men on red carpet wearing suits © Getty Images
Sam and Pete formed a friendship on Celebs Go Dating

"It would be easy to say Zara [McDermott, Sam's girlfriend] is my happy person, but she knows she's my number one. Aside from her, it's all about Pete. I always call him when I need help because he gives the best advice.

"If I'm down, I get Pete over to mine to film TikTok dancers, and even though he says it's lame and he's only doing it because his agent told him to, it's genuinely my happy place and what I want to do in my free time."

 INSIDE: I'm a Celeb's Sam Thompson comments on 'pressure' about wedding plans with Zara McDermott 

Sam and Pete also host the Staying Relevant podcast, which Sam delights in. "I genuinely am my happiest when we record the podcast, I skip to the studio every single time."

Family ties and old friends

Sam made his debut on Made in Chelsea as a sidekick to his older sister, Louise Thompson, and the siblings are still extremely close, living next door to each other in Parson's Green, with Louise, her partner Ryan and their two-year-old son Leo hugely important in Sam's life.

Sam with Louise and leo on her shoulders© Instagram
Sam is a doting uncle to little Leo

"Louise coming home from hospital after a difficult birth and getting to meet Leo for the first time was one of the happiest moments ever – and when he called me Sam for the first time, it was amazing," he says.

Sam's old school friends hold a special place in his heart, too, and he speaks fondly of making time for them – including on a recent stag do.

 READ: How Sam Thompson supported his famous sister Louise through post-birth PTSD 

"When you the older, life gets in the way and you don't spend as much time with your friends, so getting up to mischief and tomfoolery when you do meet is so special."

Whether he's larking about with Pete, playing hilarious parks on Zara, or roping his camp mate, Tony Belluw, into dance routines, Sam Thompson always seems to be having a blast – and we can't wait to see what he does next.

WATCH: Sam Thompson gets the giggles with Comic Relief and Babybel

Sam Thompson has partnered with Babybel to celebrate its 25-year partnership with Comic Relief by sharing giggles and donations for this year's Red Nose Day.  

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