'Something I've Wanted To Do Ever Since': Superfan Ellie Cole's Link To The Jungle

The country's most decorated female Paralympian is looking to add Queen of the Jungle to her list of many accolades.

Before she went into the South African jungle, Ellie Cole sat down with 10 Play to discuss all things I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! revealing that she's been a fan since Season 1 when her cousin, Laurina Fleure, had a record-breaking stint on the show.

"It's been something I've wanted to do ever since I saw her on the show, I think she got a lot out of it," Ellie said.

"One of the things I love about the show is that I do see so much personal transformation from each contestant, that's certainly something I've been wanting to go through. It's a challenge you can't find anywhere else," she continued.

At the time, Ellie hadn't told her cousin she was heading into the jungle, "But I remember calling her when she got out of the jungle and she said it was really tough... I know, from my experience being an athlete, those really tough moments can teach you a lot."

When Ellie was two she was diagnosed with neurosarcoma, a rare nerve cancer which led to her right leg being amputated when she was three. As part of her rehab, Ellie's mum took her swimming where instructors thought it could take her up to a year for her to learn to swim in a straight line. Ellie took just two weeks.

Across her 16-year swimming career, she brought home a record-breaking 17 Paralympic medals -- including six Gold -- and welcomed her son, Felix, to the world with her partner Silvia earlier this year.

While many of her celebrity campmates have voiced concerns with the living conditions they're facing, ahead of leaving for South Africa Ellie beamed saying, "I'm fine with bugs... I love sleeping under the stars... I'm so excited for eating trials!

"Because we're so starved in the jungle, and I'm all about nutrition and getting as much in as you can, I'm really excited for the eating trials. You never get to eat those things," she explained.

Having travelled around the world with her sport, Ellie has always been able to connect with family back home. Cut off from the world in camp, Ellie not only has no contact with her family -- but also her newborn son.

"You don't have any connection with anyone except your campmates so I'll be relying pretty heavily on them," she said. "It's nice to see, from previous seasons, the connections campmates make. I'll find my people and they'll help me through."

But the close quarters of camp life could be a bit challenging for Ellie who told 10 Play that, while she's used to travelling with her team, the big personalities could be something she struggles with as time goes on.

"I travel a lot with my sport but every person is very like-minded, driven and has similar goals. This show, I know it's a very eclectic group of people, everyone comes from different backgrounds, personalities and beliefs," she explained.

"That's one of the things I'm most looking forward to because I was so insular with the type of personality I was spending time with...  It will be interesting to see how I handle it when I’m the one holding the conversation! I think the more tired and hungry I get, probably the less tolerant I’ll be," she laughed.

"One thing I really loved since I retired was getting to know people who are a bit out there and have really strong opinions about things, and that’s part of the reason why I also loved watching the show in the past."

Ellie's time in the jungle is in support of Challenge, "It's a kids with cancer charity that I was a participant of when I was going through my diagnosis as a young child," she explained.

"It completely changed my outlook on my diagnosis, it's all about them connecting with their family, providing experiences where they can spend time with their siblings and not have to worry about the diagnosis."

"One of my favourite moments when I was younger was sitting by my mailbox every month, they'd send through pamphlets about all these amazing activities I could do with my brothers and sisters... and they just made my family happy, so I want to be able to support them so they can make other families happy as well."

You can find out more about Challenge, as well as all the charities the celebs are supporting this year, here.

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! continues Sunday- Thursday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 Play!