Shanghai Sam is now Saffa Sam.
Self-described “washed-up politician” Sam Dastyari is heading to the South African jungle for Network Ten’s I’m A Celebrity.
In a video posted to the show’s Instagram page ahead of the premiere on Sunday night, the former Senator confirmed he was one of two “controversial politicians” teased in the line-up.
“Most people say shows like I’m A Celebrity are just for washed-up actors or washed-up athletes,” Dastyari says. “But I say the show can be bigger than that. I say it can be for washed-up politicians too.”
The Labor powerbroker was forced to step down from the Senate in late 2017 over questionable ties to a prominent Chinese donor. He was accused of “echoing” Chinese policy positions during Senate estimates hearings in return for payment.
That came after Fairfax revealed Dastyari had warned Communist Party-linked political donor Huang Xiangmo in 2016 that his phone was likely tapped by spy agencies including ASIO, suggesting they leave their phones inside and go outside his Mosman mansion to speak.
Since leaving politics Dastyari has forged a career in media, reinventing himself as a larrikin commentator with regular appearances on Network Ten shows like The Project and as a host on Kiis FM.
Dastyari’s confirmation for the jungle came after Bachelor fans were teased with the news former contestants Elora Murger and Richie Strahan were in South Africa this week, fuelling speculation one of them could be the “single reality star” on the line-up.
Meanwhile, the broadcaster has confirmed Gogglebox stars Angie Kent and Yvie Jones will be two of the campmates on the fifth season of the reality show. ABC newsreader Natasha Exelby is also tipped to make an appearance.
Here are the other clues Network Ten has released.
CONTROVERSIAL TV HOST
This attention-grabbing host is no stranger to controversy and is a huge hit with the tabloids.
A familiar face to Australian households, this handsome host is also known for his acting appearances and taking out a popular reality show.
With barely a moment to switch off for summer, this fully sick comedian will definitely miss his fast food and life’s other luxuries in the jungle.
This celebrity cook, television personality and author will be full of beans.
A gossip guru is about to go from dishing the dirt to sleeping in it.
From Parliament House to the wilds of Africa, how will two very different pollies cope with the politics of camp life?
Our football legend is known for his hair-raising play.
I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! premieres Sunday at 7:30pm on Ten
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