Shortly after Lioness Jill Scott, 35, was crowned the Queen of the Jungle, she said she can’t wait to marry her long-term partner Shelly Unitt after missing her while she spent a month away from her in Australia.
Reflecting on their time apart, Jill said: “It was really difficult. Me and Shelly spoke about that. Usually being away at a tournament, you’re away for two and a half months sometimes, but you can FaceTime, you can text.
“As long as I know Shelly is okay, your family is okay, friends are okay – but not knowing that was really difficult.
“You had to keep your mind on what you were doing and I took comfort in certain dates that were happening.
“I knew when Shelly was flying out and I knew she was with the other families so it was difficult, of course it was, being away from loved ones. But coming out and seeing how proud everyone is makes it all worthwhile.”
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Asked if being apart for so long could mean they will marry soon, Jill added: “We got engaged two years ago and Covid hit us so I think we do need to get some planning in place. It will be nice.
“We need to sit down and just catch up on the last five weeks and what’s happened but obviously getting engaged, the next plan is to get wed.
“I have always appreciated our relationship 100 percent – being able to go off and do football and be away two weeks out of every month.
“It’s so hard for the person that you’re with and the sacrifices they have to do and knowing I had Shelly’s support going into this from day one. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. We’re a good team.
“Shelly has been saying they’ve done hoodies and they’ve been buying them and we’ve given money to charity and they have wanted hot banana water.
“We have customers that have been so loyal to us and have kept the shop running, especially through Covid. So, 100 percent, just like the Euros, I’m not going to change who I am.”
As the 2022 series concluded, Jill triumphed over runner-up Owen Warner and fellow finalist Matt Hancock.
Chatting about her campmates, Jill described runner up Owen Warner as like a “little brother” and said she tried to sneak him extra rice as he struggled with hunger.
On Matt Hancock, she added: “When we all put on that uniform, it was all one team and the aim of the whole show was we needed to get stars to provide for the rest of the celebrities.
“And do you know, what he faced the trials head on and he said he did 10 in total and he was coming back with maximum stars.”
She also credits the rest of the celebrities for helping her get through the experience, and says that they are all winners.
She concluded “I don’t want to say something cheesy but you’re in there as a team and it’s not like you’re competing against each other so I thought the team was a winner. At times, I just felt like I was camping with my friends and that was probably the best part about it really.
“I know I have been given the crown, but for me the whole team were winners. Without Charlene, Scarlette, Sue making the food, without Seann and Baba making us laugh, Boy George waking us up with his singing. If I had been in there on my own I wouldn’t have survived.”