ITV I'm a Celebrity: Body language expert reveals who's 'faking' their fears

A body language expert has given her thoughts on the I'm A Celebrity campmates. (ITV)
A body language expert has given her thoughts on the I'm A Celebrity campmates. (ITV)

The new series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! kicked off last night, and according to a body language expert one of the campmates could be exaggerating their fears.

Judi James spoke to Paddy Power Games to provide her initial thoughts on this year's celebrity intake as they made their way into the jungle.

And she believes First Dates star Fred Sirieix was exaggerating his fear of heights in a bid to win the public over.

Alongside Eastenders star Danielle Harold, reality TV star Sam Thompson and food critic Grace Dent, Sirieix was tasked with climbing along a pole from a height of hundreds of feet in the air.

But James wasn't convinced just how scared of heights the Maitre-de really was.

"Celebrities often gain votes by acting fearful during the first few days of the show," she explains. "Fear responses get them more camera time and they make the viewers laugh."

"The biggest fear-faker last night seemed to be Fred."

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I'm A Celebrity's Fred Sirieix is swapping luxury food for creepy crawlies (ITV)
I'm A Celebrity's Fred Sirieix has been described as a 'fear-faker' by Judi James. (ITV)

James believes Sirieix's "I’m scared of everything" looked incongruent thanks to his strong eye contact to camera and his relaxed, asymmetric grin.

"In the helicopter his fear responses looked like pure panto," she explains. "Screaming at just being in a helicopter he had his mouth fully open while his arms were rigid. He looked up as he screamed though and his legs were splayed. Real fear tends to prompt diminishing signals and an eye focus on the object of your fear, like Marvin clinging onto the helicopter like a scrunched-up limpet while gazing silently at the open door or Danielle keeping her eyes pinned on the tall building while she let out her screams."

James also revealed her insights about This Morning presenter Josie Gibson's attitude towards Nigel Farage as she jokingly teased him about Brexit.

"If Farage has an Achilles heel in politics it’s tough women who refuse to fall for his olde-worlde charm techniques," she says.

"In his biggest TV debate, he was brought down by Nicola Sturgeon and out there in a deserted track in the Australian outback it was Josie Gibson turn when she pole-axed him with a Brexit ‘joke’ within the first few seconds of meeting."

James says Josie’s overall body language plays on two levels.

Josie Gibson teased Nigel Farage about Brexit in last night's show, but what did her body language reveal? (ITV)
Josie Gibson teased Nigel Farage about Brexit in last night's show, but what did her body language reveal? (ITV)

"There’s the fun, self-effacing fake-dumb blonde side, but that hides a straight-talking, fearless woman with a natural tendency to take control and lead," she explains. "Her cackling laugh as she met Nigel was an animal attack signal. Loud, hard and screechy it was the sound that animals produce to warn off an enemy."

Gibson also took control in the handshake by placing Farage’s hand in both of hers in a political hand-sandwich gesture, "where she got to trap and control her prey while he kissed her on the cheek".

"As she looked at Farage her eyes performed a ‘slide’, moving up and down his face in a gesture of evaluation, as though she was putting him under scrutiny and sizing him up," James continues.

"His uneasy, over-kill fake smile and laugh looked nervous as a response. When they stood talking, Josie performed an act of aggressive arousal, placing both hands on her hips to splay her upper torso like an animal making itself look bigger and stronger to intimidate an opponent."

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In response, James says Farage went into fall-back mode, becoming a politician again.

"He stood with his hands lightly clasped in front of his torso and he used the classic political oratory trick of listing points in groups of three to get buy-in from your audience," she explains.

"His tone as he told Josie that ‘It’s an adventure, a challenge, and its not going to be easy’ sounded patronising and it was an open invite to Josie’s whip-like clap-back: ‘Can’t be worse than Brexit’," she adds.

Farage, James says, "got an instant lesson in not patronising women and not underestimating Josie".

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James says Farage was in an 'alpha stand-off' with Fred Sirieix. (ITV)
James says Farage was in an 'alpha stand-off' with Fred Sirieix. (ITV)

Things didn't ease up for the former politician when he arrived into the camp with James describing a "powerful alpha stand-off" between Farage and Sirieix.

"It looked like an open declaration of a war that might not get to the stage of verbal fights, although their gestures of intent were emphatic," she explains.

"Both men performed acts of social arrogance in what looked like a bid to assert their individual power."

James says Sirieix stood in a "dominant position" while very deliberately picking his teeth with what looked like a large toothpick.

"Tooth-picking in public is usually done subtly, often with a hand over the mouth to avoid disgusting displays of flying food particles, but Fred used it as part of his performance, which showed arrogance which in turn registers as a lack of fear of his campmates," James explains.

Not to be outdone, Farage also performed a ritual of social arrogance when he pit-bared in front of the group, placing both hands behind his head and splaying his elbows to bare his armpits fully.

"This might have been some sort of a back-stretch but as a signal to the group and to Fred it looked like a declaration of power," James analyses. "Animals that feel afraid will make themselves smaller and protect the most sensitive body parts with barrier gestures. Baring the armpits like this looked like a return message to Fred to say Nigel was not intimidated, and it looked like a challenge in front of the rest of the group."