After three weeks of horrifying (but ever-so entertaining!) Bush Tucker Trials and a gruelling diet of rice and beans, Harry Redknapp has won I'm a Celebrity 2018! Emily Atack came in second place and John Barrowman walked away in third place. Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly made the exciting announcement during the live episode. In the hours leading up to the show, betting company Ladbrokes had predicted that Harry was favourite to win, while John was thought to be runner-up and Emily believed to be third - so they got at least two of those predictions wrong!
"There wasn't one person I could say a single bad work about. They pulled me up hills, dragged me through the water. I couldn't have done it without them," Harry said, as he was crowned King of the Jungle. Prior to the final, the I'm a Celebrity camp had already waved goodbye to Noel Edmonds, Malique Thompson-Dwyer, Sair Khan, Rita Simons, Anne Hegerty, Nick Knowles, James McVey and Fleur East.
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Finalists Emily, John and Harry with the previous night's evictee Fleur
In his exit interview, John revealed he had had the time of his life in the jungle. "I can't believe how many people voted for me," he said, through tears, as he sat down with Holly and Dec. "At the very start I was scared and nervous," he admitted. "As soon as I met Emily, I knew right away we would be life-long friends, Emily has a special place in my heart," he added, before revealling that as much as he loves Emily, he thought Harry deserved to win.
Speaking moments before the winner was announced, Harry and Emily got emotional as they watched videos of their time on the show. "It's a good show," joked Harry. "I'll watch it in future! It was tougher than I expected it would be. I thought we'd get a nice bit of grub every night. I thought there was a caravan behind. I said to my wife, 'They're not just sitting there starving every day.'"
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Paying tribute to his wife, Sandra, he said, "It was very difficult without her," as he teared up. "This experience has taught me how to laugh again. Being a football manager is a serious business. It's a lonely business. I've got a happy home life, but actaully laughing, and really letting the laughter out."
Holly and Dec have been hugely popular of hosts of the 2018 show
"This has changed my life," admitted Emily. "I came into this not really knowing what I was doing or where I wanted to go, and it's given me so much self acceptance, and I've just learned to accept who I am. This is my skin, this is my hair, this is who I am," she said, choking back the tears. "I will never doubt myself ever again."
It's been a fantastically entertaining this year, and Holly has done an amazing job of temporarily replacing Ant McPartlin on presenting duties. She's proved to be so popular, that many fans have called for her to return next year! In the first week of the show, the ratings increased since the previous year. And, in the show's first episode, it hit a peak of 11.9 million viewers, making it the show's highest rated launch in the past five years. It was also the biggest overnight rating of 2018 outside of World Cup matches. Responding to Holly's Instagram posts, fans have applauded the host for her work, with one recently writing; "You've been brilliant Holly and I really hope you are on it next year. You're so genuine and real."
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Memorable moments from the series include the late introduction of TV legend Noel Edmonds, Anne Hegerty raising the awareness of autism and, of course, Harry Redknapp reuniting with his lovely wife Sandra after three weeks apart. Everyone involved will surely be looking forward to getting home for the festive season and enjoying a proper meal that doesn't consist of questionable meat!
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