HE’S the first royal to enter the jungle – and is proving a huge hit with viewers.
But we’re yet to see the real Mike Tindall on I’m A Celebrity – with the 44-year-old slipping into ‘royal protocol’ mode when faced with a tricky situation, according to a body language expert.
Mike reverts back to Royal protocol when put in stressful situations on the show
Mike was wary when asked questions about his wife Zara
Judi James told HOAR the former England rugby player, who is married to Princess Anne‘s daughter Zara, appears quite guarded at times, especially when asked questions about his regal connections.
She said: “So far Mike has been quite cautious about coming out of his shell in the camp.
“His greeting ritual to the others looked very much like a royal, distanced, polite handshake that the others converted into hugs or pats.
“He sounded and looked wary when he answered questions about his wife Zara.”
Mike is gradually opening up – with his cheeky antics in camp earning him the nickname “Magic Mike”.
Earlier this week the campmates discovered his secret talent, after he rapped to Will Smith‘s Boom! Shake The Room.
Judi observed how Mike has swiftly become the ‘alpha’ of the group, providing reassurance to other camp members who look to him for cues about how to react to certain situations.
She claimed this was on show last night when Matt Hancock entered the camp, along with comedian Seann Walsh.
Mike kept his arms in front of him at all times to form a barrier against Matt
Judi said: “Mike’s behaviour towards Matt was surprisingly opinionated and could have provided steering leadership for the others – who initially looked unsure how they should treat the ex-Health Minister, but did begin to launch their own challenges.
“Mike also dropped his head and laughed at Matt, with Seann mirroring this response.”
Judi claims Matt’s arrival has pushed Mike closer to Gogglebox star Babatunde Aléshé, 34.
She said: “They were sitting together on the log with their torsos leaning together and it could have been Mike’s responses to Matt that allowed Baba to be openly critical, in a polite but emphatic way.
“This could be the camp bromance.”
Mike formed a barrier with his arms against Matt Hancock when he was in the camp
Mike is seen as the alpha of the camp and is looked to by the other cast members
Previous I’m A Celeb bromances have included George Takei and Joe Swash in 2008, and actor Nigel Havers and Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder in 2010.
Other close relationships in this series appear to be Boy George, 61, and Charlene White, 42, – despite their rocky start, according to Judi.
Matt’s controversial arrival into camp has pushed them closer together, with Coronation Street’s Sue Cleaver, 59, also part of the gang.
Judi said: “They sat together and comforted one another when only yesterday they were brewing up for total war over the cooking.
“Charlene took on Matt, which Sue and George admired, and suddenly the enemies were acting like the best of friends, with Charlene hugging Sue in a gesture of mutual comfort.”
Singer Boy George was reduced to tears by Matt’s arrival as he relived his mum being hospitalised during Covid.
He claimed he’d have walked out of the ITV show when the politician entered had his mum not pulled through.
Matt’s arrival also broke the bubble of the show, which detaches the celebs from the real world.
Judi said it’s meant they’ve become more aware of the perception of viewers at home.
Judi said: “The celebs have a real quandary on their hands now with Matt.
“Matt took nearly all of them out of their I’m A Celebrity immersed experience and made them imagine what people at home would be thinking – hence the two direct ‘attacks’ from Charlene and Scarlette Douglas.
“Both asked him why he was there as they grilled him. There were also indirect attacks from Seann, Mike and Chris Moyles who used mockery via laughing at him to diminish him.”