The last six weeks have been transformative for comedian Fiona O’Loughlin. Not only has she found a lifelong friend in the form of Peter Rowsthorn (and a potential new gig with Ron and Brenda!) but the 54-year-old has also been crowned Queen of the jungle in this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
WHO: Congrats! Have you spoken to your kids since leaving the jungle? What have they said about your new crown?
FIONA O’LOUGHLIN: Thank you so much! I’ve spoken to all of them, bar one so she’s the last one to talk to. They’re so happy.
WHO: How has your experience in the jungle changed or affected you?
FIONA O’LOUGHLIN: It’s like a spoilt version of being really hard done by, if that makes sense. When you’re in there, it is hard, hard, hard slog – it’s collecting your own wood… starting your own fires, food, there’s bees, all of that and the trials. The thing is to remember; that you’ve got to keep reminding yourself is this is only a temporary reality, so it was really challenging but I think the show, particularly the way they make it in Australia… what I can say is how real it is. It’s like a human zoo. So I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, you know, but there are times in there where you were like ‘oh come on, I can’t go another foot’, but I never threw the towel in or even came to that point where I was broken or anything.
WHO: What was the hardest part about being in the jungle?
FIONA O’LOUGHLIN: It was very hard for me when Peter Rowsthorn left. It’s just the human thing, you know, to form friendships with people under difficult circumstances so that was a sad morning. The other thing I found... everyone really struggled with the boredom but I’m such a lazy cow, I love being bored. Because there is a lot of waiting… my heart would be in my throat every time I knew there was going to be a trial because I’m literally so scared of spiders, I’m shaking thinking about it, so I always had that hanging over my head. But on the flip side of all of that, you’re surrounding is like paradise so there was the paradox.
WHO: You and Peter Rowsthorn had great comedic chemistry and Ron and Brenda were a hit with viewers. How was it finding a friend like Peter in this competition?
FIONA O’LOUGHLIN: Oh, it was just heaven on a stick. It swings in roundabouts in life, but being older, I come from a time where we had to use our imagination a lot to get buy, you know. Peter and I… that was literally to amuse ourselves, to come up with these ridiculous characters. When we started and the way he just rolled with it, and the way Channel Ten just let us be so organic with it. It’s not like anybody had any idea that these two characters were coming into the show because we didn’t know. But now we’d like to write a sitcom with Ron and Brenda.
WHO: All jokes aside, are you ready to enter the dating jungle now?
FIONA O’LOUGHLIN: Oh hell no. I’d need a lot more lie downs before I can face that!
WHO: You were very vocal about your dislike of David Oldfield. Was there anyone else in the jungle that rubbed you the wrong way?
FIONA O’LOUGHLIN: I wasn’t a huge fan of Anthony Mundine. I don’t understand if there’s any irony, maybe I’m missing it and he’s being ironically full of himself, you know, but he doesn’t amuse me. I mean, that’s not his problem, he doesn’t have to amuse me but there’s people that you meet… it’s like a human zoo and we were a community of different characters and some of you are just not going to hang out.
WHO: You spoken so honestly about your struggle with alcoholism and you’ve shed a lot of light on what is usually kept a private matter. Why was it important for you to be so honest about this?
FIONA O’LOUGHLIN: It’s almost like paying it forward, I mean I’ve been so lucky with people, not well known people, but people nonetheless who gave me the information that I have to get the tools that I needed, so it’s really only the right thing to do. It would be really remiss of me not to pass it on when I got the opportunity.
WHO: What’s next for you now that I’m A Celeb is over?
FIONA O’LOUGHLIN: Well I’m starting a new [comedy] show that I wrote before I came in.
WHO: Will there be anything jungle-related in that show?
FIONA O’LOUGHLIN: I’m very autobiographical in my stand-up but I don’t know how long it’ll take before I work out what stories, because there’s some good stories… I don’t want to burn them too soon if I don’t get them right.
This article originally appeared on WHO.