Staying Relevant co-host Sam Thompson wins I’m A Celebrity 2023

Victory follows announcement of live tour next year

Sam Thompson, reality TV star and co-host of the Staying Relevant podcast, has officially been crowned the winner of ITV’s venerable contest I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

The series final, which took place on Sunday evening, saw Thompson beat out failed politician Nigel Farage and former boxer Tony Bellew to be crowned ‘King of the Jungle’. Thompson is one of several podcasters on this year’s list of contestants, including Bellew, who hosts Tony Bellew Is Angry for BBC Radio 5 Live, as well as Comfort Eating’s Grace Dent, and former Pressed co-host Nella Rose.

Fans saw a tearful reunion between Thompson and his co-host Pete Wicks ahead of the final, as the two met for the first time since Thompson went into the jungle last month. While Thompson was filming the series, the podcast used a combination of pre-recorded and archive content, as well as a special episode with Thompson’s mother and partner both joining Wicks to discuss his stint in the jungle.

The news of Thompson’s win comes just days after it was announced that Staying Relevant will be embarking on a live tour in Spring next year, with five dates across the UK from 2-7 April in locations including London, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow and Cardiff. Tickets for the tour went on sale this morning.

Staying Relevant is a co-production with Bauer Media and Insanity Productions that first launched towards the end of October 2022, with ad sales provided by hosting and monetisation company Adelicious as part of a partnership signed in June this year

“What an amazing win for Sam last night,” said Adelicious managing director Andrew Goldsmith. “We can already see the impact his time in the jungle is having on Staying Relevant. Listens for this morning are already 40% up on Monday last week, and yesterday was 70% up on last Sunday.” 

“There is no doubt that Staying Relevant will go from strength to strength.”

The podcast was one of five that were shortlisted for the Listener’s Choice Award at the British Podcast Awards this year, and both Bauer and Adelicious are hoping to capitalise on additional interest in the podcast as a result of Thompson’s win, with Bauer Media Group creative director Trevor Jordan urging prospective commercial partners to register their interest as soon as possible.

"Knowing Sam as I do, I’m not surprised at all that he was able to charm his fellow campmates as well as the general public to become King of the Jungle," said Lucie Cave, Bauer's chief creative officer for podcasts and commercial content. "Listeners of his Hits Radio show or his Staying Relevant podcast will be familiar with his endearing personality, enthusiasm, warmth and empathy, which shone through every day whilst he was in the I’m A Celeb camp."

"Now that he’s out, he will be returning to his hosting duties soon, and we’re excited to explore the commercial opportunities with potential partners soon – after all, his ability to connect and entertain has proven to be a winner. Someone described him as ‘magic bottled up as a human’ – and brands can’t get a better ambassador than that!"