Booking time off in advance and remembering to put on an out-of-office message is the routine for many of us when taking time off work. But catching a plane to the Australian jungle, to stay out there for up to three weeks, as part of a telly show – and without telling your superiors? MP Nadine Dorries clearly doesn't do things by halves.
Explaining her decision to take part in the show, she reasoned in her opening interview:
"When someone asked me if I wanted to go to the jungle with snakes and rats, I thought: 'It's Westminster – I work there!' So it didn't seem that big a deal."
"I’m feisty.. a bit naughty," she added. "Truth be told, I don't know what I'm letting myself in for. [But] How hard can it be?"
(It was a viewpoint that certainly made Ant and Dec chortle.
Ant: "Has she seen this show before?"
Dec: "Well they sent her a DVD, apparently. It must have had Downton Abbey on it...")
Having missed out on finding the helicopter and being whisked off to a final night of luxury, Team Snake Rock (ie, Nadine, Hugo, Colin, Ashley and Eric) had to bed down in the camp for their first night – sleeping on the actual ground, among the critters with their 'webs of death' (as Hugo helpfully called them).
A dishevelled Nadine said the morning after:
"It was possibly one of the worst nights of my life.. I haven't slept for 24 hours. I haven't washed for 24 hours. And I haven't changed my clothes for 24 hours."
There was soon worse to come in the form of crossing some swamp-infested waters in a frankly flimsy boat. Nadine took no time in taking leadership of the task, despite admitting, "I don’t know a great deal about rowing." Having barked orders at her beleaguered camp mates to put their 'rows' (ie, 'oars') into the water, it soon became clear that Nadine was in charge of a sinking ship - literally!
There’s a well-known saying in politics: 'keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.' Now Nadine might want to bear those words in mind because when the post-boat, drying-off conversation turned to politics, people were having none of it.
"Do you vote?" Nadine quizzed Eric.
"I don’t vote," he admitted.
"'Cos they’re all liars!" cried the Crafty Cockney.
In the privacy of the Bush Telegraph, Hugo was direct to the point of outspoken: "If she was my Member of Parliament, I'd expect her to be at work," he snapped.
Nadine probably wishes the same – or soon will do, when it comes to tonight’s trial, the scarily-titled 'Bug Burial...'