Last night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here saw two of its participants reflecting on former TV days.
Jo Beth Taylor looked back on Hey Hey it’s Saturday while Val Lehman, who was eliminated in the episode, reflected on her Prisoner days.
Jo Beth Taylor described Molly Meldrum as generous.
“He is so personable, so easy to talk to and he is very loyal. I love him,” she told Paul Harragon.
Asked about working with Daryl Somers she said he was very good to her, but then qualified her comments.
“Daryl is very supportive if he likes you,” she explained.
“The flip side of that is he is very egocentric as in he doesn’t want anyone to be … he wants to take the lead.”
“Honestly he treated me really well but…. it was him first always. I could never be better and if I was, I always got short shifted out. I really like him, he’s just got the ego and everyone let him have it. That’s the thing too- if no one brings you back down to reality, then you just live in that world.”
She also didn’t share his enthusiasm to revive Hey Hey.
“You know you’ve got to get over it, do something else because it is not going to ever work again.”
Meanwhile Val Lehman opened up on why she left Prisoner in 1983.
“The reason I did it was because I was doing far more work than anybody else,” she told Taylor.
“I was three times ahead of the person closest to me, in the number of scenes. I did 26 scenes in a day once.
“They took it off in Queensland when I left the show. I was told by the then-publicity department I would be replaced overnight. No-one would care. Audiences are very fickle.
“I went ‘Fine. I’m not doing it to get up the nose of anybody.’ I just want out. I don’t want to play here anymore. I don’t like it anymore. You’re not nice to me anymore, I’m leaving. They got down on their hands and knees and asked me to go back three times.
“The third time I said to my agent ‘Look the only thing these people understand is money.’
$1000 a week more than she was getting, plus $1000 a week during December and February
“They came back and said yes to the salary and no to the retainer. And I said ‘No!’
“I had a mole in the script department who said they were going berserk. They said ‘They’re going to kill you off!’ and I said ‘Good!’
“They were sick of people asking ‘When’s Bea coming back?’
Bea Smith was eventually killed off in a fire in Barnhurst prison.
“I couldn’t have cared less.”
UPDATED: Jo Beth Taylor has since added, ““What I meant to say was you can’t help but have an ego and I went on to say most people in that position have an ego and if you didn’t have an ego, then you couldn’t do that job. The first person other than my family I’m going to be on the phone to other than my family is Daryl.”