Exclusive: I’m a Celeb champion Jill Scott reveals whether she would return to the jungle
Jill Scott had many triumphs last year from leading the Lionesses to victory in the Euros and coming out on top in the I’m a Celebrity jungle, and while she had hopes to return to the game in some “capacity” she was less enthusiastic about a possible return to the jungle.
Despite the recent South African series which saw the return of old favourites, Jill shared: “I don’t know if it’s a once in a lifetime, it was difficult to be honest especially with eating, you definitely didn’t get enough calories.” She did say that it was a “fantastic opportunity” that allowed her to make friends for life, who she recently met up, but she did give a little glimmer of hope for fans who might want to see her back. “Some people came back after 10 years, so I don’t know, if work dries up maybe,” she joked.
She also joked about possible involvement with Strictly Come Dancing after Neil Jones named her as his dream partner. “He probably doesn’t know I’ve got two left feet,” she quipped. “If I was sitting here last year, and you said that I was going to be going in the jungle, I would just probably have laughed at you. So you never know what life’s gonna throw at you.”
Jill was speaking exclusively to HELLO! as she began fronting a new grassroots campaign from the FA, titled the Greater Game, which aims to help children aged between 12 and 16, alongside their parents, to start making healthier life choices focusing on four key areas: eating, sleep, exercise and thinking.
The campaign, which has been co-created alongside Nuffield Health, launched on Thursday in a pilot form with hopes for a full roll-out across the country next year.
Speaking about her involvement, Jill said: “It’s just a fantastic project, the age range 12 to 16 year olds they are our next generation and we need to be taking care of them. It’s all about getting their physical and mental wellbeing up , working with grassroots football, we know the power of football, and how it can make a lot of change and it’s important for me to try and use my platform to do that.”
She continued: “It’s not about going in and saying, ‘Look, you have to change your whole lives, you have to put all this in place.’ As adults, if you try and do everything at once, it’s not sustainable. If we can just get that age range to make one healthy action a day, maybe it’s drinking more water or making sure they’re getting the sleep. I think if we can change a few lives, it’s always worth it.”
Jill also reflected on her own healthy life choices throughout her life, sharing: “I have been fortunate that I haven’t struggled with mental health, but there’s definitely a link between how I was exercising every single day. Even now I’ve got a bad knee, but I try and get myself out for a 20 minute run, it just makes us feel better being out in the fresh air.” She added: “Even being in the jungle, living outside for three weeks, I’m not saying we’re going to suddenly send hundreds of kids off to the jungle. I think just being outside in the fresh air and I wasn’t on social media for so long. And I felt so refreshed after that experience.”
And sharing her own advice on getting healthier, the former footballer said: “You just focus on healthier action a day. If you nailed drinking the two litres of water a day, then you can add another action. We want it to be sustainable, we don’t want you to be trying to do these five things, and then you end up doing nothing.“
Ahead of Pride Month, Jill revealed that she and her fiancee Shelley Unitt would spruce up their coffee shop with Pride-themed cups and boxes, perfect for anyone heading to Manchester for the celebrations.
She also opened up about why women’s football appeared to be more open than the men’s game, with considerably more female players openly LGBTQ+ in the top leagues of the game. “I’ve always been fortunate that in women’s football, I feel like you’re just allowed to be yourself. If you’ve got a girlfriend or boyfriend, it doesn’t matter,” she explained.
“Women’s football has always been very accepting and it’s unfair whenever people try and compare it to the men’s game. There’s different crowds and there’s a lot more hostility at men’s games. It’s about the need to tackle the crowds and try and make them better so that players feel more comfortable being themselves because we’re in 2023 and if you can’t be happy then there’s something wrong with the world.”
To find out more about the project visit here.
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