Joe Swash and Dean Gaffney share sweet reason for I’m A Celeb reunion

Former EastEnders stars Joe Swash and Dean Gaffney have a lot more in common than just being a part of the BBC soap.

They’ve both signed up for I’m a Celebrity…South Africa and are both vowing to make their children proud.

The dads are late entries to the series in South Africa and both had memorable appearances in the Australian version several years ago.

Joe, 41, won I’m a Celeb in 2008 before hosting the spin-off show where he met 2010 jungle queen Stacey Solomon.

While Dean, 45, first appeared on I’m a Celebrity during the show’s sixth season in 2006, finishing in fifth place.

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Both Joe and Dean have revealed their participation on the ITV show is part of a vow to make their children proud.

Joe and Stacey share three children and three stepkids, and married in 2022.

One of the reasons for Joe’s return is so his family can watch him take on challenges in South Africa’s bush, reports The Mirror.

He said: “My eldest son Harry was one when I did the jungle and he is 16 now.

“I want the kids to watch I’m a Celebrity…South Africa and for both of us to be able to tell them, ‘I’m A Celebrity is where Mummy and Daddy met’.

“The jungle is always going to be a big part of our family.”

Joe had Harry from a previous relationship while Stacey shares sons Zachary, 15, and Leigh, 10, with ex-partners. In 2019, Stacey and Joe welcomed Rex, three, before having Rose, one, and two-month-old Belle.

Joe said appearing on the ITV show was a huge turning point in his life and career. He added: “Before, I thought of myself as an imposter and felt I wasn’t meant to be there. Doing the jungle gave me the confidence to believe in myself.

“I can’t express enough my gratitude for the fact I met Stacey on the back of it, had my kids and it gave me a whole different direction with my career.

“Doing the All-Stars series is closure. It finishes the circle.”

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Meanwhile, Dean, 45, hopes that he won’t embarrass his twin daughters Charlotte and Chloe, 27, following a hilarious trial in 2006.

The iconic trial saw Dean dunk his head in a bowl with cockroaches, remove stars with his feet while surrounded by crabs, and put his hand in a box of green ants.

He said: “My daughters were 10 when I did the Australian jungle and they didn’t care if I screamed or not.

“They are 27 now and I think if I was screaming they’d be a bit embarrassed.

“Every year, my trial gets wheeled out as one of the best moments. Even if I want to forget it, I can’t.

“I don’t know what to expect this time round. I’m just really looking forward to what South Africa is going to bring.”

A nervous Joe and Dean have to do a trial called Flipping Dis­­gusting before joining their campmates on tonight’s episode.

Tune into ITV at 9pm to see Joe and Dean take part in what Ant and Dec branded it “the most disgusting trial ever”, adding it is “TV gold”.

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