I’m A Celebrity is about to see one of the biggest pop stars of the 1980s enter the jungle, and Boy George has already indicated he isn’t there to mess around.
While the singer recently said he didn’t need to bother taking part in reality TV simply for the pay cheque, when he arrived in Brisbane last week he was wearing a lion’s head mask which surely indicate he’s there to win.
It seems to help that he has also apparently bagged the biggest paycheck in the history of the show.
He’s surely got lots of showbiz anecdotes he can share with the rest of his campmates, while his outspoken nature means he might ruffle a few feathers too.
But he’s no stranger to getting himself into a little bit of trouble.
As the lead singer of the band Culture Club, Boy George was the voice behind hits like Karama Chameleon, Do You Really Want to Hurt Me and Time (Clock of the Heart), which saw them soar to the top of the charts.
But off the stage the singer was also battling with serious drug addiction, which has been blamed for some of his run-ins with the law over the years.
When was he arrested?
It was Boy George’s androgynous style of dressing that first caught the attention of music executives, but the success of Culture Club’s first album cemented him as a bona-fide star.
The band’s debut album Kissing to Be Clever saw them become the first group since the Beatles to have three Top 10 hits in the US from a debut album.
But within five years of forming, Culture Club had fallen apart and Boy George’s drug addiction saw him in trouble with the law.
Boy George had been struggling with heroin addiction for several years and dabbling in other drugs soon followed.
Around the same time his younger brother David went on national TV to discuss his drug habit, which Boy George had been publicly denying.
But it was in 1986 that it all came to a head when the singer was arrested for heroin possession after police raided his house in Hampstead.
Undertaking treatment at the time, the magistrate handed him out a small fine, acknowledging that Boy George was taking steps to address his dependency issues.
However two decades later, in October 2005 he was arrested in Manhattan on suspicion of cocaine possession, which was later dropped, and falsely reporting a burglary.
He was sentenced to five days of community service, handed a fine and was ordered to attend a drug rehabilitation program, but an arrest warrant was later issued when he failed to appear in court for a hearing.
Then, in 2008, he was charged with the assault and false imprisonment of a male escort who Boy George handcuffed to a wall fixture and beat with a metal chain.
In 2009 he was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment but was released for good behaviour within four months.
But his brushes with the law haven’t seemed to slow down his career, and in the years since he’s released new music, been a judge on one season of The Voice UK and on four seasons of the Australian version.
His net worth is now reportedly around £43 million, and there’s reports he’s been paid around £1 million to take part in I’m A Celeb.
What is Boy George’s real name?
Born in Kent in 1961 and raised in Eltham, George Alan O’Dowd is now best known by his moniker which he adopted when Culture Club formed in the early 1980s.
Raised in a working-class Irish Catholic family with his four siblings, he’s said that his family history is a ‘sad Irish song’, with one grandmother being taken from her family and placed in an Industrial School as a child, while a great uncle was executed during the Irish War of Independence, while his mother alleged in her memoir that George’s father was abusive.
When does it start?
After two years away from Australia, Ant and Dec will be leading the new group of camp-mates back into the jungle on Sunday November 9 at 9pm on ITV.
Next week Boy George be facing a whole new set of challenges when he enters the camp alongside other celebrities like Mike Tindall, Owen Warner, Olivia Attwood and Charlene White, where they’ll also be set to squirm as they not only live amongst many creepy crawlies, but even eat a few of them too.
Although he says he had to think ‘long and hard’ about whether he wanted to take part, Boy George eventually said yes because it’s the ‘biggest show on TV’.
‘I am bored of being iconic in the corner and if you want to compete in the world then being part of telly is part of that,’ he said.
He previously said another reason for saying no in the past had been the serious clothing restrictions in the jungle.
‘I’d have to get certain hats made and I couldn’t get over the food. I would have a problem with that, he said.
But he looks like he’s overcome those concerns, already customising his khaki to stand out from the crowd.
I’m A Celebrity 2022 begins on Sunday November 9 at 9pm on ITV.