In an interview, Bob McCarron aka “Dr. Bob” reveals details about his jungle camp work and assesses this year’s candidates.
He has been the secret star of the RTL jungle camp every year since season one: Bob McCarron (73) alias Dr. Bob will be on “I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here!” from January 19th. (8:15 p.m. on RTL) will be there again as a camp doctor. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, the special effects artist, make-up artist, wildlife biologist and paramedic reveals details about the 17th season and reveals his favorite to win. He also talks about who his absolute favorite candidates are from all seasons, which jungle test he would never do and why he wanted to leave the show before.
What can fans expect from this year’s season of Jungle Camp? Are there any changes compared to last year?
Dr. Bob: This year the jungle celebrities are facing some brand new trials that they have never seen before. Even the first day, the “walk-in day”, is full of surprises. So when fans watch the show on January 19, they will be quite surprised. And without giving too much away, there are some really big tests towards the end of the show.
What are the conditions in the camp?
Dr. Bob: This year, like most years, is the rainy season and we are in a semi-tropical rainforest. Murwillumbah, where we work, is the wettest part of New South Wales. Interestingly, the second wettest place in New South Wales is Kangaroo Valley, where I live. So it seems like I’m committed to living in the wettest place and working in the wettest place (laughs). It rained so much today that I thought the camp might be closed today. But we carry on bravely.
You’ve been on the television show for so long. Do you even need to prepare?
Dr. Bob: This is my 20th year, and if I add up the English shows, the German ones and the American one that I’ve done, it’s my 37th. I’m definitely preparing. I start thinking about the show and different ideas we could do months before I even get there. Even on vacation in Bali, an idea came to me, maybe it will make it into the show next year.
You look pretty fit in your Instagram pictures. How do you stay healthy?
Dr. Bob: If you want to work long hours in the film industry, you have to stay fit both physically and mentally. I have been practicing martial arts since I was 13 years old. My wife does that too. Together we lead a very healthy lifestyle. We both meditate every day. We also train through bushwalking or swimming or tango. I don’t plan on retiring until 94 (laughs).
What are your main tasks during production?
Dr. Bob: My duties on the show increase every year. When we started 20 years ago, I ran in and did a little bit of testing. Thanks to the many viewers who wanted to see more of me, I became more and more involved in the show and especially behind the scenes. I do a lot of medical work and as a wildlife biologist I am naturally interested in the animals in this area. So I’m constantly looking for snakes that I love (laughs).
What do you think of the celebrities for 2024? Who is your favorite?
Dr. Bob: After meeting all twelve celebrities, I have to say they’re probably the wildest bunch I’ve ever met (laughs). Lucy was particularly impressive. She is a bundle of energy and hyperactive. I worked a lot with dancers as a makeup artist for the world tour of “Phantom of the Opera.” Lucy is a typical dancer, there is so much strength in her. When I talked to her, I said to myself, ‘This woman could win.’ I’m really looking forward to seeing how she does at camp.
In your experience, what qualifications does a celebrity need to have to win?
Dr. Bob: For a celebrity to win, they have to be on the TV screen every day. What I mean by that is that you can’t afford to just sit in front of the fire with your arms folded and do nothing. You have to get up, you have to move and do silly and crazy things. Every time you come to a test, even if you think you can do it, I would act like I couldn’t do it and then I would scream and yell and make the biggest fuss in the world. So you have to be seen if you want to win.
Who are your favorite celebrities from all seasons?
Dr. Bob: If you know me, you know that among my favorites there is a man and a woman that I love with all my heart. These are Prince Damien and Evelyn (Burdecki, editor’s note). They both deserved to win. When viewers watch the shows again, they will see a young, somewhat naive Evelyn and an excited, young Prince Damien, both of whom have grown into what I would describe as young and aspiring superstars.
What do you think was the most dangerous test of all time?
Dr. Bob: I have to say there isn’t, because we don’t do anything that’s dangerous, but we do tests that are extremely hard, and some of them are so hard on the body because the celebrities don’t get much to eat every day. They are getting weaker and weaker day by day. And when you see them climbing a ladder, you might think, “I can do that too.” But I’m telling you: two weeks in the jungle trying to climb high or having insects fall on you is really, really hard. And then there are the food tests…
Is there a test you wouldn’t take yourself?
Dr. Bob: I don’t like the drinking tests. I made them twice many years ago when we tried different mixes and they are disgusting. You can eat something and swallow it quickly, but if you drink something and it somehow slides down your throat and then gets stuck halfway through, that’s not a nice feeling. I never want to do that again.
In an interview you said that you almost left the show a few years ago. How long do you want to do this for?
Dr. Bob: A few years ago, when I was doing the English and German shows, I was burned out because I had to take care of up to 700 people. People don’t realize how big the crew we have here is. We sometimes work for five months before the show starts. So I debated whether I should go. I decided to leave the English show. The reason I stuck with the German variant, and this comes from my heart, is because I love working with the German crew and celebrities. They are great friends and we have a good time. I’m really enjoying it and have no plans to leave “IBES”.
What are you doing besides the jungle camp and what are your plans for 2024?
Dr. Bob: In addition to “IBES”, I’m taking care of the world tour of “Phantom of the Opera”. When we filmed the last jungle camp show last year, my wife and I worked there for three months in China and South Korea. And this year, when I finish the German edition, I have three weeks off and am traveling to Japan for a week to take a test in Kyudo, Japanese archery. Then maybe we’ll go to another part of the world for a month, which I can’t talk about at the moment. And then I’m going to the south of France for four weeks to practice tango, then to England and then to Buenos Aires to dance tango there too. So I’m completely happy and busy.
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.