Jun­gle fever

Chris Brown is strap­ping in for an­other wild ride with Ju­lia Mor­ris on I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here, writes Tiffany Dunk

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY -

THE se­cond Ju­lia Mor­ris and Chris Brown met at a Lo­gies re­hearsal in 2013, sparks flew.

At the time, the pair was signed to com­pet­ing net­works — Mor­ris for Chan­nel 9 and Brown for Ten — but they openly dis­cussed their de­sire to work to­gether again.

So it’s no sur­prise they were Ten’s dream pick when the Aus­tralian ver­sion of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! was un­leashed last year.

As hosts, the duo quickly found an easy rhythm and can take a large part of the credit for the suc­cess of the show.

“Chris and Ju­lia’s chem­istry was one of the big­gest sur­prises of sea­son one and to­gether they set the tone for the en­tire pro­duc­tion,” says Stephen Tate, Ten’s head of en­ter­tain­ment and fac­tual pro­gram­ming.

“Ju­lia is like a heat-seek­ing mis­sile and Chris is her clos­est tar­get.”

It’s true: A huge part of their dy­namic on-screen act has re­volved around Mor­ris’ ap­par­ently over­whelm­ing in­fat­u­a­tion with Brown.

From mak­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments to find­ing rea­sons to get closer to the hunky vet, Mor­ris says she still gets flus­tered around her TV com­pan­ion — but not for the rea­sons you’d think.

“Not a lot of peo­ple know that over the last 12 months the ob­ses­sion has ... Look, Chris is to­tally ob­sessed with me and we’re not al­lowed to talk about it a great deal but I’m just say­ing it’s in the Zeit­geist,” she says.

“Ju­lia of­ten talks about her re­verse body dys­mor­phia and I feel like she may have twisted this lit­tle sit­u­a­tion as well,” Brown re­torts.

“I call her, but it’s just to en­sure I know her lat­est fixed ad­dress so that when she’s served with a spe­cial let­ter, I know where to send it.”

Jokes about hav­ing safe words should the flir­ta­tion get too in­tense (for the record, Mor­ris in­sists Brown’s is “yes Lady JMo”) and pend­ing le­gal cases pep­per the pair’s repar­tee as they sit down to dis­cuss the new sea­son of the show.

But be­hind the ban­ter, a gen­uine friend­ship has formed.

And while they live in dif­fer­ent states, they take time out from their busy sched­ules to sup­port each other’s projects.

“Chris flew down (to Mel­bourne from Syd­ney) for my stand-up show which was awe­some,” Mor­ris re­calls.

“My six-yearold was wait­ing out­side his door (Brown stayed with the Mor­ris clan), want­ing to give him a coffee. Leave Chris alone! I don’t know where it comes from, it’s just odd.”

They’re also keen to find more projects to work on to­gether.

But given Brown starts film­ing Bondi Vet and The Liv­ing Room once they re­turn from the jun­gle while Mor­ris re­turns to House Hus­bands, it’s prob­lem­atic.

“And it has to be the right thing that suits our style,” Brown says.

“Where the cloth­ing is op­tional,” Mor­ris adds.

It would be easy for the pair to rely on the same schtick se­cond time around. But Brown and Mor­ris know they have to keep push­ing bound­aries.

While pro­duc­ers say this year chal­lenges will be tougher, con­di­tions harsher and food sup­plies scarcer for the new celebs, Brown and Mor­ris have added their own chal­lenges.

“We’ve banned the use of the word ‘jour­ney’,” he says. “And ‘pointy end of the com­pe­ti­tion’,” adds Mor­ris. “And ‘at the end of the day’. Which day?”

“But the re­ally ex­cit­ing thing for us is when you talk to the bosses ... they keep rub­bing their hands to­gether and say­ing, ‘Just you wait un­til you see what we’ve got lined up,” Brown says.

‘Ju­lia is like a heat-seek­ing mis­sile and Chris is her

clos­est tar­get’

STEPHEN TATE CHAN­NEL 10

I’M A CELEBRITY … GET ME OUT OF HERE!, CHAN­NEL 10, SUN­DAY TO THURS­DAY, CHECK GUIDE FOR TIMES

I’m a Celebrity ... Get

Me Out of Here! hosts Chris Brown and Ju­lia Mor­ris (left) and (below) serv­ing up a food chal­lenge

last sea­son and with 2015 win­ner

Fred­die Flintoff.

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