"I feel like a winner!"

Carol Vorderman spills all on life in the jungle now she’s “out of there!

Carol Vorderman spills all on life in the jungle now she’s “out of there!”

What a few weeks I have had! I don’t think anyone could have ever prepared me for this amazing “jungle” experience. Even though I’ve watched the show every year and seen exactly what goes on, when you are there yourself…it’s just completely unique, bonkers, hilarious and challenging…all things crazy rolled into one great big adventure. I’m so glad I did it…Camp Mum to all the young ones.

Before I left, I talked about how I wanted to approach the whole experience with enthusiasm and a big smile on my face. Walking into the jungle already happy and excited really helped me approach everything with positivity – like when I was the first celeb who had to “walk the plank” 350ft above the ground and the plank starting shaking violently to the point where I thought my legs weren’t strong enough to stand the shaking (I think the lunges and squats in the months leading up to it helped). I’m pretty pleased I did it – eventually! Not to mention those tougher moments when I had to stick my head in a Perspex box full of spiders bigger than the palm of your hand and 30,000 critters which bite and sting and try to get into your ears… I’m off for a check-up tomorrow now that I’m home!

What has been absolutely amazing, on top of the fab time I have had with some new friends, is to come out of the jungle back to the ‘real world’ and reconnect with all of you, my family and friends. You really don’t know how things are perceived when you are in the jungle, to be honest half the time you forget that you are being filmed. To know that you have been championed back here is fantastic – I feel really touched by all your messages of support for this menopausal mamma.

And do you know what, regardless of anyone else, I feel like a winner…for me! It’s no surprise to all of you that I think all us 50+ women should always be challenging ourselves, taking on a new adventures (big or small) and just reminding the rest of the world how great, capable, interesting and relevant we all are (in case they forgot, ahem!).

What I found important was being able to support the young girls, Scarlett and Sam, who had been worried about the “shower scenes”. They felt uncomfortable about being on display, and so I encouraged them to cover up and not worry about doing that at all, which is exactly what we did and together we were happy about it. Scarlett and I even held up towels around Sam when she came back from a particularly gruesome Bushtucker Trial and NEEDED a proper and full wash. I also loved being their “mum” – it’s weird how natural mothering kicks in. Also strange but not surprising that people haven’t seen me be a mum before as I’ve deliberately kept my two children out of the limelight (I’ve been fastidious about it), but the reality is that is exactly what I have been for the last 25 years – and most of you know what that feels like.

I do believe that goals in life are very personal and I’ll only allow myself to be judged by one person only…me. But if by achieving one goal – that happens to be seen by many – I help show how women of a CERTAIN age can do their thing…then I’ll take it on any day of the week.

As we approach the end of the year, my 56th birthday creeps up on me, and the next big chapter is calling. I wanted to say thank you and say, however daunting, let’s all make a pact to approach everything we do with enthusiasm and a smile – and who knows what we can all achieve!

Leave a comment *Mandatory text
I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the community guidelines and terms and conditions

Happy British Science Week Ladies!

You don’t have to love science like me to be able to celebrate the science behind the everyday!

Read more

Why learning new skills is even better over 50

Go back to school? You’re never too old! Daniela Soave explains how you can maximise your free time with study.

Read more

Lifestyle & Culture