AS KEZIA Dugdale begins her stint in the I’m A Celebrity jungle media organisations south of the border are feeling the need to explain who she is.
The former leader of Scottish Labour may be well known in these parts, but in England her appearance is expected to leave many television viewers scratching their heads.
Television listings magazine Radio Times are running with a full Kezia Dugdale factfile under the headline, Who is Kezia Dugdale? I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! 2017 profile, while OK! features a piece entitled ‘Who is Kezia Dugdale: Everything you need to know about the former Scottish Labour leader come soon-to-be jungle campmate’.
The question has also appeared in the UK edition of The Sun and on Twitter.
I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! has been criticised in the past for featuring less widely-known celebs, or niche figures famous within very specific circles.
Ms Dugdale’s decision to appear on the show has attracted a wave of criticism, most notably from Scottish Labour colleagues and constituents, with MSP Neil Findlay labelling it ‘utterly ludicrous’ and ‘demeaning’ to Scottish politics.
The Labour MSP for Lothian has also been criticised in some quarters for abandoning her constituents for the three week duration of the programme, while new party leader Richard Leonard said that Kezia faced sanctions and that she had not been granted permission to take part.
It was also reported yesterday that a pledge to donate ‘any and all’ money from her appearance to charity has been removed. Stars on the show can expect to earn as much as £250,000 from their appearance, though lesser known celebrities generally pocket a fraction of that.
Writing in the Daily Record, Kezia’s partner Jenny Gilruth, a SNP MSP, has revealed how upset the former Labour leader has been ‘by some of the hurtful things written about her’ and has accused Dugdale’s political colleagues of lacking ‘human decency’.
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, has also leapt to Dugdale’s defence, stating that he doesn’t ‘think it’s appropriate to suspend someone from the party’ for appearing on the show.