David Emanuel is a contestant on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity..Get Me Out Of Here 2013!
Date of Birth: 17 November 1952
Phobias: Everything, anything – you name it. Claustrophobia, heights, creepy crawlies.
Missing any special occasions: It’s my birthday in the jungle! Also, the Emanuel family get together in the last weekend for a special Christmas get-together.
Relationship status: Divorced
He successfully fought prostate cancer last year and now Royal Fashion Designer David Emanuel wants to see if he can survive I’m A Celebrity.
Talking movingly about his fight with the killer disease last year, the gregarious 60-year-old explains it is going to be a personal challenge to see if he can hack living it rough it in the jungle.
He says: “Going on I’m A Celebrity is a personal challenge. This time last year, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was a huge shock. I had no symptoms at all. It was a simple tip-off by my step-mother to say my father might have some problems. The alarm bells rang. I went straight in for a blood test and I was diagnosed with prostrate cancer.
“I was in hospital for three days and I had key hole surgery. It was an eight-hour operation. I have had a blood test since and it was 0.00001. I was extremely lucky. It was early diagnosis.
“And so sometimes you have to rise to the challenge, I survived cancer. Can I survive the jungle?
“It (cancer) has given me a second chance. Had I not had those tests, I might not be here. What is there to lose?
“I have everything to gain. And it is also for charity – that’s the payback for me. I am going to go for it.”
An incredibly good fun person who wears his heart on his sleeve, David readily admits it’s definitely going to be an experience going on the show. You name the phobia, he is scared of it, whether its spiders, snakes, heights or claustrophobia. That’s not to mention the fact he is leaving his luxury home comforts behind to sleep on a hammock amongst cockroaches.
But the gutsy designer, who famously created Princess Diana’s wedding dress, is determined not to give up.
“My family are going to be completely amazed that I would even consider doing this, let alone do it, when they find out,” he says. “That is going to be the shock for them.
“They have seen me dress beautiful women, live in this gilded life and everything is very glamorous and sophisticated if you dress Madonna or Liz Taylor like I have. It’s not going to be Vogue Magazine! But I will give it a shot. I don’t see the point of not giving it all a go.”
So what will he miss most? “I will miss my doves, my beautiful bed, a nice hot bath and I am also going to be missing my birthday as it is whilst I am away. “But it will be fine. I am from a large family and so we don’t make a big fuss of birthdays. The other thing I will miss is the fact that as a family, we celebrate Christmas at the end of November because we are all over the place. This year is going to be a different year again. Last year I was in hospital and now this year I am in the jungle!”
He says he’d like to dispel a few misconceptions.
“I do think people see me as very serious,” explains David. “People think I am very formal and because of the Royal designer tag, people wonder if they should curtsey! It is funny. I am not like that at all. Under the right circumstances, people will see the real me. I don’t think I am serious at all.
“I am a pretty level headed person. I don’t like bullying or biching. I am surrounded by biching and competitiveness and I take it all in my stride.” He pauses, smiles and then adds: “I’d like to think there will be a few pretty blondes in there who I can be a shoulder to cry on!”
David isn’t quite sure what his role in the camp will be but he is quite happy to muck in.
“I will empty the toilet bucket,” he chuckles. “And I am quite happy to be the sous chef too. I don’t want the responsibility of cooking. Mind you, with rice it is only boiling a bit of water!”
Reflecting on the tough living conditions, David roars with laughter as he readily confides he doesn’t mind losing some weight.
“I have seen enough shows to realise that you do lose weight,” he says, smiling as he does. “Fabulous. Just before Christmas. I could do with shedding some pounds. It is not a problem!”
Returning to the fact his jungle journey will be a personal challenge, David says he now can’t wait as the countdown begins.
“I don’t have any preconceived ideas about what it will be like,” he adds. “I was brought up to judge a person as you see them. I have been fortunate to dress women all around the world and so how will I get on with the guys?
We will see. Going in the jungle is an open book.”