Dean Gaffney: Who is the I’m a Celebrity South Africa contestant?

The all-star series of I’m a Celebrity is well underway, and there are new surprises at every turn.

For once, this edition of the long-running wild survival show takes place in South Africa, instead of the Australian jungle.

As well as the initial nine entries to camp, the show has seen the likes of Gillian McKeith, Myleene Klass, Georgia “Toff” Toffolo and Andy Whyment make unexpected late arrivals.

After the campmates are forced to make a “horrible” decision, a first for the programme, they will soon welcome more faces to the jungle party.

Dean Gaffney is one of these new recruits, back for a second crack at I’m a Celeb life following his first appearance on the show 17 years ago.

Gaffney has been a public figure since 1993 when he made his on-screen debut as Robbie Jackson on EastEnders.

Over the course of his decade-long tenure on the show, Robbie grew from being a troublesome teen to a much-loved member of the Albert Square community. He was often seen with his canine companion, Wellard, until he left the Square with his girlfriend Nita in 2003.

Gaffney has since returned to the show as Robbie on several occasions. His last time on the programme was in 2019.

Dean Gaffney (ITV)
Dean Gaffney (ITV)

Outside of EastEnders, the actor regularly appears in pantomimes across the country. He has twin daughters named Charlotte and Chloe with his former partner Sarah Burge.

Gaffney first appeared on I’m a Celebrity during the show’s sixth season in 2006, along with fellow South Africa campmate Myleene Klass. He finished in fifth place.

During his time in the jungle, Gaffney, 45, struck up friendships with Klass, as well as Jason Donovan and David Gest.

Ahead of his re-entry to camp life, Gaffney remembered the lessons he learned in series six. “I was in my twenties when I did the show and I wasn’t a very good cook so it made me realise how to fend for myself!” he recalled.

He remembers the “Jungle Spa” as his scariest Bushtucker Trial. Broadcast live, the task featured Gaffney being submerged into a tank of creepy crawlies within hours of his arrival in Australia.

I’m a Celebrity South Africa continues at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.