A FORMER town restaurant boss is getting ready to swap life in the kitchen for life in the jungle as she prepares for a stint on a hit TV show.
Scouse comedienne Crissy Rock, who used to run the floating eaterie MV Ella at Hartlepool Marina and now lives in Peterlee, has signed up for ITV show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.
Crissy, who ran the restaurant during the Tall Ships Races in the summer of 2010, held a farewell event at a pub in Sunderland hosted by Hartlepool-born former radio DJ Paul “Goffy” Gough before jetting off Down Under before the start of the show on Sunday.
Paul, who runs town-based Goffy Media, said: “Crissy is thrilled to be heading into the jungle and she is outrageous enough to go a long way in the three-week series.
“Some bookies have already installed her as an early favourite.
“She has worked on the ITV series Benidorm and is also know for her role in the Ken Loach film Ladybird Ladybird for which she received some fantastic reviews.
“Away from the screen, she has predominantly worked the clubs for years across the UK, proving to be hugely popular on her many North- East club visits.
“Crissy is very, very streetwise and she will be a tough character with the other celebrities in the jungle. This will be the series that highlights her special talents to the millions via the telly.
“I have hosted many nights with her and have witnessed first hand that she is a unique talent. The girls love her cheeky views of living with men!”
The final celebrity line-up has not been revealed. But the Liverpool-born 53-year-old could well be joined in the jungle by fellow Scouser Freddie Starr.
The comedy veteran was due to appear at the Forum Theatre, Billingham, next Monday. But the show has been cancelled and rearranged for Friday, March 30. Other celebrities rumoured to be heading for the jungle are Coronation Street actor Anthony Cotton, Mark Wright, from The Only Way Is Essex, former model and soap actress Lorraine Chase, former jockey Willie Carson, American actress Stefanie Powers, singer Sinitta, Dougie Poynter, from pop group McFly and Jessica-Jane Clement, from the BBC’s Real Hustle.
Previous winners of the show, which attracts millions of viewers, include EastEnders star Joe Swash, X-Factor singer Stacey Solomon and former Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona.
They all endured three weeks of hell in the rainforest, carrying out a range of challenges which include eating jungle bugs and some terrifying stunts in order to win meals for camp-mates.
Paul said: “It is interesting that as of this week she has fewer than 500 followers on Twitter. But that is likely to change very quickly as many people will get their real first glimpse of her close-up.
“A Facebook page called ‘Let’s keep Crissy Rock in the Jungle’ has just been started by some fans, so work is already in progress for her appearance.”
Following her run in the jungle, Crissy will star in the Billingham Forum Theatre as Cinderella from December 10 to January 8.
She will also star in her own show with Goffy hosting at Rainton Meadows Arena, Houghton-le-Spring, on December 15.
The show, which is hosted by popular Geordie duo Ant and Dec, gets under way on ITV1 at 9pm on Sunday.