Sam Thompson's best mate Pete Wicks has hit back at claims that Sam is 'fake' on ITV's I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. Pete reckons Sam could win the show and wants him to stay in the jungle as long as possible so he can explore Australia without him.
Pete has jetted off to meet the Made In Chelsea joker on the Bridge – getting picked over his girlfriend Zara McDermott after her Strictly Come Dancing exit came too late to change the travel plans.
Sam's pal thinks he can go all the way and laughed off suggestions that he's not being his true self.
Last week, Grace Dent, who left the show, told the Bush Telegraph that there's more to Sam than what we see.
Grace said Sam seems '"childlike" and she has a "sneaking suspicion that he is the most intelligent person" in camp. Some viewers thought this was a 'fake' jab but TOWIE legend Pete isn't having it.
Pete told The Mirror: "Sam is a really intelligent guy, however, he is also a really excitable person. That doesn't mean he's a donut. That doesn't make him unintelligent, he is being his total self and he's like that 24/7.
"It's a lot, but it is part of the reason he is such a great guy. It's the energy you want. Away from friends and family, you need that in the camp."
Pete continued: "I genuinely think he can win it. I would love to see him do it. Regardless of how he does, he's king of the jungle for me because he's gone in there, he's been himself and he has tried so hard with everyone in the camp. He's such an authentic person. He 100 per cent deserves to win – if I was a betting person, my money is going on Sam."
Pete loves his pal but is praying he stays put – and not just so he can grab the glory. "I think everyone is out there until the 10th of December," he went on.
"Hopefully Sam will stay in there until the end for two reasons. I want him to go all the way and I would love to explore Australia on my own. And sunbathe for a bit! I've not had much of a holiday this year, so he's done my a favour really hasn't he?"
"He could have flipped me out when Zara left Strictly Come Dancing, but decided not to!" Pete said, "I wouldn't give up my seat! We all thought Zara would still be in, which is why I'm the one going out. To be honest, ITV are more interested in me going out as they need someone to restrain Sam from Ant and Dec when he leaves! I'm more going to be their personal security, to keep them safe."
"He's doing amazingly well, we're seeing Sam for Sam and I'm really pleased about that. He's a bundle of energy and I think that can be a little annoying for people before they get to know him. It's one of the reasons I love him.
"Sam's just so happy all the time, which helps because I'm quite miserable. He's been so excited for the past few months about going in. He's watched the show since he was a kid and I'm really proud of him."
Pete is partnering with Argos this festive season as part of their ' Christmas Hints' campaign. He will be on hand to help Brits get what they really want on December 25, offering not-so-subtle 'Hints' to loved ones via video, that loved ones have applied for. Telling us all about the idea, he says: "I'm not a massive fan on Christmas."
"The main reason is nobody ever gets the presents right! Most people get presents they don't want – I read a stat saying 73 per cent of people get an unfortunate gift, dead plans, out of date chocolate – stuff like that. I'm guest of that too!.
"So this year I'm working with Argos and I am going to be doing some not-so-subtle hints for people. People can get my to not-so-subtly hint to their loved ones what they want for Christmas. There's nothing worse than being disappointed on Christmas day!"
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