'There's More To Me Than Being A Trainer': Michelle Bridges Opens Up About Her Return To TV

Before she went into the South African jungle, Michelle Bridges spoke to 10 Play about what convinced her to join this season of I'm A Celeb.

The iconic fitness instructor, author and media personality is immediately recognisable across the country, most well known from her time as one of the trainers of The Biggest Loser, Michelle Bridges is now taking on a challenge of her very own: the South African jungle.

Before she swapped her activewear for khakis, Michelle spoke to 10 Play admitting that she had been asked to be part of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! for years, but the timing was never quite right.

"I was too busy with my career and then I had a child, so it was never going to happen, but now he's eight and he's never really seen me on TV before because I did all of Loser before I had him," Michelle said.

"He's like, 'Mum were you really on TV? I heard people talk about it...' so when we talked about me doing this show he was like, 'Yes! No! Yes! You'll be fantastic, but I'll worry about you!'"

Michelle added that her son, Axel, watches the show and is excited to see her take on some of the challenges - as well as giving her some helpful tips before she left.

"It's nice I can show him and I can challenge myself and put myself out there, and it's kind of cute he can watch... he said, 'You'll be great at challenges! Make sure you get in and talk to everybody, be social.' He was giving me gameplay, I'm like honey, it's not Survivor, it's okay!"

With Michelle's time on The Biggest Loser wrapping in 2015, she continued to build her fitness empire - publishing 17 books, an extensive range of eBooks and DVDs, and has been running her 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) for over a decade.

"I think there'll be a big audience that probably doesn't even know who I am," Michelle laughed, "but certainly an audience that will remember me from Loser that think, when I walk into a room, I'm going to go up to them and ask them to start doing burpees and push-ups which is just ridiculous, it's not who I am.

"There's more to me than being a trainer," Michelle continued, "I'm a mum, I'm a businesswoman, I'm social and interested and I'm gentle as well. I can be tough when I have to be - we all can! But I think a lot of people just see me as that 'kickass trainer'."

Having dedicated so much of her life to her career and businesses, and raising her son, Michelle was apprehensively excited at the idea of being cut off from the world and living in the middle of the South African jungle.

"One of my favourite parts [of I'm A Celebrity] is listening to the conversations and learning about people, who they really are, what they're really about, and not seeing them as who you think they are but the real them," she explained.

"To have no phone, none of that, it's great. The ONLY thing I'm nervous about is no contact with my son. That's going to be hard because we have never been apart, not really."

While she's no stranger to pushing herself, the thought of the Tucker Trials did strike a bit of fear in Michelle who joked, "Does anyone really want to put a spider in their mouth?"

"It's not really anything I'm looking forward to, it's just one of those things - the team mentality -- you're doing it for the team and you're coming back with the hunt," she said. "I like that side of the show very much and I do like the camaraderie, that’s my thing. I’m all about inclusiveness, and bringing the team together, just from my group fitness days... That’s my thing, I really love that."

Michelle's time in the jungle is in support of Women's Community Shelters, an organisation that provides emergency accommodation for women who are experiencing homelessness.

"It's a really, really lovely charity," Michelle said, "A lot of women - there are stats out there - are living out of their cars because things back home have changed. He controls the finances, she's been out of a job since she was 28 because she was looking after the kids, and suddenly it's like, now what?

"That's one side of it, then there's the domestic violence side which is only getting bigger in this country. There are women being turned away from these shelters because they're so full. This is reality, it's really happening."

Find out more about Women's Community Shelters, and all the charities that our celebs are in the jungle supporting here.

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