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I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

EXCLUSIVE: Richard Reid WINS I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!: "I'm gobsmacked!"

I keep expecting that it's all some kind of weird twisted joke - I never win anything!

By Jess Pullar
Look sharp Australia - there's a new King of the I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! jungle, and he goes by the name of Richard Reid.
Indeed in the moment we've all been waiting for, the American gossip guru took out the coveted King of the Jungle title after over a month of roughing it in the South African wild.
And while runner up Yvie Jones and third-placer Shane Crawford took their final results with grace and ease, Richard's reaction was quite the opposite.
"I'm more gobsmacked than anything – I keep expecting that it's all some kind of weird twisted joke!" He told TV WEEK exclusively.
Richard Reid took out the top spot above runners up Yvie Jones and Shane Crawford. (Image: Network Ten)
In fact, the jungle mogul didn't even expect to make it past the first week of eliminations.
"All of a sudden it was over and I was in the top three and I'm still bewildered because I thought I was gonna go on day 18!"
"I don't even play pokies because I just know I wont win. It's just an amazing feeling."
Faced with snakes, spiders, alarmingly small spaces and food that'd make your tummy curl, Richard was well and truly put through his paces from day dot - but he managed to get through it all - and for a very surprising reason.
Speaking about the "gross" challenges he was forced to endure, he revealed that one particular camp mate inspired him to keep pushing forward.
"Honestly, Justin [Lacko] was a huge inspiration, I was just so grateful to him for going on all the trials and bringing back all the food," he said.
"That was honestly my biggest motivation - I did not want to disappoint Justin, and I just kept thinking 'What would Justin do?'."
WATCH: I'm A Celeb's Justin Lacko reveals to Richard Reid why he doesn't speak to his grandmother any more. Story continues after video...
But challenges aside, it was being completely and entirely open with himself and others that really stood out to the brunette.
In fact, in a sobering moment, Richard opened up to Justin about his troubling history with drinking, revealing that he "drank way too much".
"I look back at when I drank, and I drank way too much. I would drink to celebrate, I would drink when I was depressed, and was tired," he said on the show.
But after several drinking-related incidents, including being hospitalised, blacking out and making a fool out of himself in front of other high profile Australians, the gossip guru knew it was time for a change - and has been sober for seven years now.
Richard said opening up in that way felt good while he was in the jungle - despite feeling hesitant at first.
"I had no intention of talking about that, yet I felt that if Justin could learn from my past mistakes then why not share it?"
"I could be the best possible person that I could be in there, and it really showed that I can trust people more than I had been willing to in the past."
And with his King of the Jungle title under his belt, Richard is more empowered than ever.
Keep scrolling as he exclusively opens up about his life-changing experience in the I'm A Celebrity jungle.
Richard! Congratulations! What a huge achievement to be crowned winner - tell us how you're feeling!
I'm still in shock! My face is starting to hurt because I'm smiling so much.
I'm more gobsmacked than anything – I keep expecting that it's all some kind of weird twisted joke! I never win anything, I don't even play pokies because I just know I wont win. It's just an amazing feeling.
For the first time in my life I'm actually proud of myself and amazed that as the biggest Queen in America, I'm somehow the Queen of the Australian jungle and I've worked my way into the Australia public's hearts - I'm just so grateful.
What was the first thing you did when you got out of the jungle?
I immediately booked a nice hotel because it had a huge bathtub – I just wanted to take a bath!
I do my best thinking when I'm in the bathtub, I put a little bit of Barbra Streisand and just chill out. That's what I really missed the most [in the jungle] - just submerging myself in hot water. That's a luxury thing.
What was the biggest shock to you when you were originally dumped in the jungle?
Probably that the other camp mates knew who I was – I always think that I fly under the radar pretty well, but I was really pleasantly surprised that people not only knew who I was but actually liked me!
WATCH: Richard Reid reveals hilarious run in with Ricky Martin on I'm A Celeb. Story continues after video...
How did you tackle all those gruesome challenges without giving up?
Honestly it never crossed my mind once to utter the phrase 'I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!', firstly because I've never thought of myself as a celebrity. Never! So I couldn't really say that because I'm not one!
And also, I didn't go into the jungle to be a loser or a pussy. I went in to prove something to myself that I could do it. That I could face fear and come out victorious.
Where did your determination and strength come from!?
Honestly, Justin [Lacko] was a huge inspiration, I was just so grateful to him for going on all the trials and bringing back all the food
That was honestly my biggest motivation - I did not want to disappoint Justin, and I just kept thinking 'What would Justin do?'.
He was such a handful and such a charmer at the same time.
Richard was confronted with his greatest fears on the show. (Image: Network Ten)
You opened up in some candid moments on the show, what made you decide to do that?
Well I gave up drinking about seven years ago - I'm no spring chicken, and I did my fair share of partying and it just got to a point where it just wasn't working for me anymore and it just wasn't fun.
I had a string of rather unpleasant situations in a row and I was like, 'I spend a lot of money and a lot of time trying to look as good as I can, so why would I want to ruin it?'
I've been so blessed with my career, more than I ever dared dream, so I just thought it would be best to nip it in the bud.
I had no intention of talking about that [in the jungle], yet I felt that if Justin could learn from my past mistakes then why not share it.
What was the hardest challenge you had to face in the jungle?
Oh all of them were really gross. Being told that I was being stung repeatedly by scorpions… I mean – scorpions! It was beyond terrifying and maybe even more so because I didn't know what was in there - but I knew it hurt!
And also, I don't know how producers behind the scenes knew my worst fears, but when I did my solo challenge they ticked all the boxes – claustrophobia, snakes, spiders alligators and electrocution.
I was just like c'mon give a Queen a break! But somehow I found the fortitude to get through.
Richard's chosen charity was Beyond Blue, which provides information and support to Australians to achieve their best possible mental health.

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