Laila Morse is a contestant on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity..Get Me Out Of Here 2013!
Date of Birth: 1 August 1945
Phobias: I am not a great lover of spiders and cockroaches
Missing any special occasions: No
Relationship status: Dating
Lack of food won’t be a problem for EastEnders star, Laila Morse, who says she definitely won’t mind if she loses a few pounds.
Laughing, the 68-year-old star, known to millions as Wheeler Dealer Mo in the soap, says she is also not concerned that she will be one of the oldest contestants taking part.
“You don’t worry about who will be in there,” she admits. “All those glamorous people. We were all glamorous and slim once. You get older, you put on a few pounds and you get a few wrinkles. I am healthy and I am strong. That is important.
“Will it be a bonus losing weight? Of course! I will go to Australia, have a load of horrible stuff and lose weight!
“I am really excited about doing this show. I love the trials, I love not knowing what is going on and I love what you have to put your head into! I am a bit frightened but I am still going to give it a bash!”
Admitting she would rather not come face to face with a cockroach, the brave actress reckons her own motherly instincts will definitely come into force around the campfire. “I do think I will be the mum in the camp,” she says. “I hope I am a shoulder to cry on.
“I will say something if somebody doesn’t deserve it. I don’t like people who are full of themselves or who don’t stop talking about themselves. I don’t like people with screechy voices who go ‘ee , ee’ all the time.”
She’d love Joe Swash to return to the jungle with her. Explains the actress: “He has always been my boy. Johnny Depp would be good too!
“This is going to be a life experience for me. I am there on my own with people who I may or may not like, no food and things running about crawling all over you. I have never been in this predicament before.”
Asked if she has had any camping experience or started her preparations yet, Laila admits the closest she has come to sleeping outdoors is in a car. “I went camping once,” she chuckles. “But I slept in the car with my duvet! I didn’t want to get out!
“I have tried to shrink my food intake but it is not working. You know you can eat. When you are in there, you will have nothing and so you will have to suck on a twig!”
Laila took part in last year’s Dancing on Ice but reckons the jungle will be slightly easier. “Skating was dangerous,” she explains. “Yes you could go home every night but me being on the weighty side did not help. Most of those people are slim and easy to pick up. I was like a sack of potatoes!”
Her partner, Jimmy, and her two children both think she is mad to want to even go on the show, she then reveals. “They keep asking me why I want to do it,” she adds. “They think I am mad. But I keep telling them that it is something I have always wanted to do.
“Jimmy is proud and I know they will be watching me on the television and watching what I am going through.
“I don’t mind that I won’t be able to have a phone. I will say my bit in the jungle telegraph. I am looking forward to meeting the other celebrities and hopefully they will be a nice bunch of people and they will like chatting through the night. I am not an early to bed person. I hope there will be someone who I can chat to as otherwise I will have to bang a few cans! I don’t need a lot of sleep. The older you get, the less you need. I only need four to five hours.”
The actress insists she can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to win the show but thinks her own soap character, Mo, would love the experience.
“She would be alright in the jungle as she would do deals. She would pay people to make sure she got more grub!
“I don’t need to do this for other TV work. I have been in EastEnders for 13 years now. I am more or less like Mo, although I won’t be doing any dodgy deals! I still love playing her. It is part of my life being Mo. But it’s going to be fun doing this too.
“Jimmy, my partner, told me to go out and do the best I can. And that is what I am going to do.”