REIGNING Jungle Queen Jacqueline Jossa will not return to I’m A Celebrity tonight to hand over her crown — because of COVID-19.
The EastEnders star, who won the show in 2019, was set to play her ceremonial role to finish this year’s series.
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Jacqueline Jossa, seen here with husband Dan Osbourne, won’t return this yearCredit: Refer to Caption
But bosses raised concerns that because the Lauren Branning actress had not been quarantining, it could put the show’s cast and crew at risk.
The Sun told last month how mum-of-two Jacqueline, 28, had agreed to drive up to North Wales and back in a day for the short handover.
A source said: “It is a more COVID secure option not to invite Jacqueline on set to hand over the crown. So on balance, producers decided for her not to appear on the final.
“We don’t want to bring an outsider into the bubble. We’ve protected the celebs for weeks and that doesn’t end on the final.
The former EastEnders star triumped in the Australian jungle in 2019Credit: Rex Features
Producers decided it was best that Jacqueline stay away from the finalCredit: Instagram
I’m A Celebrity tradition dictates the previous winner hands over their crownCredit: Rex Features
Giovanna Fletcher, Jordan North and Vernon Kay are battling to winCredit: ITV
“She has been rehearsing for a West End role so hasn’t been able to isolate so it was deemed an unnecessary risk.”
Viewers have seen Jacqueline in this year’s show, as she has been the face of this year’s competition to win a car and cash sum alongside runner-up Coronation Street star Andy Whyment, who finished second last series.
When Jacqueline won the show, with just over 50 per cent of the vote, she also didn’t receive her jungle crown from the previous year’s winner Georgia Toffolo, 26.
But a number of past winners have been on hand to do the honours having appeared on the now-axed spin-off ITV2 show, Extra Camp.