Sam Thompson has said he cried at a video of his loved ones celebrating him being crowned king of the jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! saying “its actually quite overwhelming”.
The TV star was announced as the winner of the ITV reality show on Sunday night after securing 56.6% of the vote with former professional boxer Tony Bellew coming second with 43.4%, while former Ukip leader Nigel Farage took third place.
The finale saw an average audience of 6.6 million tune in on the night, ITV said, which is a notable drop from 10.1 million viewers who watched former England footballer Jill Scott beat Matt Hancock and Hollyoaks actor Owen Warner to become queen of the jungle last year.
Sunday’s show also attracted a peak audience of 7.6 million while the 2023 finale topped at 11.5 million viewers.
After Thompson was declared the winner, his girlfriend, Love Island star Zara McDermott, posted a video on Instagram of her and others cheering at the news.
Discussing the video on ITV’s Lorraine on Monday morning, Thompson said: “I haven’t even properly turned my phone on yet but someone showed me (the video) and it made me cry because that’s all my nearest and dearest and all my friends and colleagues all being in that room together.
“And I’ve never had that amount of people need to support me for anything and it’s just such an amazing feeling, its actually quite overwhelming.
“I’m a very, very, very lucky person to have that around me so I can’t wait. I owe a lot of people a lot of dinners.”
The morning programme also showed a short clip McDermott had sent Thompson in which she said: “I don’t think the word proud even cuts it any more.”
She added: “The way you carried yourself in that jungle, the way you made everyone feel so comfortable, you brought such a sparkle to that camp.
“I’ve never met anyone like you before. You are so beautifully unique and you are incredible. And I love you literally so much. And I cannot wait to have you back right here.”
— I'm A Celebrity… (@imacelebrity) December 10, 2023
The Made In Chelsea star became emotional after hearing the message, describing it as the “sweetest thing”.
“I miss her so much and I can’t wait to go home to her and I know she’s been sleeping on my side every single time … and I’m very, again, so lucky to have her in my life,” he added.
“I get so many people like ‘how did you do that?’ and I still don’t know … I sometimes wake up and wonder if she’s still there. Is it a dream?
“It’s thankfully not. And I love her so much and I’m very, very, very, very grateful that she’s in my life.”
Thompson also had an emotional reunion with his close friend and podcast co-host Pete Wicks after he walked down the famous bridge out of the jungle.
During the final days of the ITV reality show, Thompson took on the famous cyclone obstacle course and ate items including a pig’s vagina and a camel’s penis for his last bushtucker trial.
The TV star revealed that his time in the jungle was “one of the happiest” times of his life.
He said: “Its pretty easy to sort of be happy in there because I’ve been a fan of it for so long and, I know this sound really cringy, when you’re in there with proper celebrities like world champion boxers, world champion jockeys, you’ve got singers, you’ve got actors, it’s the coolest thing in the world.
“And because I’ve watched the show for so many years and then being around all these people and they can’t leave, they have to be there, they can’t go anywhere.
“It’s a very easy place to be happy. I think I was one of the happiest I’ve ever been in that jungle.”
TV host Lorraine Kelly also told him that many of his fellow campmate said they wanted him to win following their exit which he said was “the sweetest thing ever”.
Your votes revealed:
Vote for Third Place:⭐️ Sam – 43.35%⭐️ Tony – 30.87%⭐️ Nigel – 25.78%
Vote for King of the Jungle:🥇 Sam – 56.64%🥈 Tony – 43.36%#ImACeleb
— I'm A Celebrity… (@imacelebrity) December 11, 2023
Thompson currently hosts a podcast with Wicks and a show on Hits Radio as well as becoming a regular panellist on Love Island: Aftersun this year alongside Indiyah Polack.
Reflecting on his plans for the future, he said: “I’ve got so much that I’m already so happy with that I just wanted to do that show for the most amazing experience in the entire world.
“I used to watch that with my family like 10 plus years ago and so the beauty is that I don’t even know if I need to do anything else.
“I’m so happy where I am at that I can just add the fact that I’ve got a bucket list that I’ve ticked off that not many people have ever done so I’m already so lucky.”
On Monday morning, ITV announced that Thompson and Bellew were put through to the final after receiving 43.4% and 30.1% of the first vote on Sunday while Farage secured 25.8%, which placed him in third.