I could weep for Rebecca Adlington.
Modern day equivalents of Roman spectators at the Colosseum are baying for her blood.
Last summer she was one of the nation’s true heroines - a girl who, having given her all to her sport since childhood, added two bronzes to her golden medal tally.
But how readily some people forget. The London Olympics are history. All that matters is how this superb athlete, a mighty testament to unstinting dedication and gruelling physical and mental preparation and resilience, performs some ludicrous, grubby task in a little slice of jungle so tame it makes my allotment look like an Amazonian rainforest.
I’m A Celebrity-ites are demanding Rebecca leaves the show after being allowed to skip two Bushtucker trials on ‘medical grounds’. If they can’t watch her retch and quiver with terror, then off with her TV headshot; she’s only fit for a flight back home. There’s wild speculation over why one of the fittest people in the jungle was granted her get-out-of-jail cards. Is she pregnant? Is she claustrophobic? Or just a big ninny?
A more important question burns bright for me; who in God’s name persuaded her going on this tacky, puerile show was a good idea? It’s been disastrous for her public image and her self-esteem.
One would think she’d have known she was being set up for a fall from the highest board. The show’s formula is always thus: take a couple of oldies, a few weirdos, a plain but nice Jane, a man who was once a bit of a rake and one who still is, stick modern society’s epitome of beauty in there armed with a selection of teeny bikinis and let beastly battle commence. Yet, looking at her in those pre-jungle publicity shots, all gawky pose and practically long shorts, she looks such an innocent; like a lass going off to Guides’ camp.
Get her out of there, I agree. Because she’s not a celebrity, she’s a sporting legend and deserves respect.