‘Boy George can’t get away from his past but he has turned his life around,’ says pal

He’s ruffled a few feathers in the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! camp, but Boy George’s close pal Lizzie Cundy says he’s a generous friend who’s helped her out on more than one occasion.

The former WAG, 54, met George, 61, five years ago when their mutual friend, Paul Kemsley, introduced them. Since then they’ve forged a strong bond, with George volunteering to help raise funds for a charity close to Lizzie’s heart, Caudwell Children, and the pair often enjoy posh dinners out together.

Lizzie says the singer – who came under fire for calling Charlene White “controlling” for being head chef in the camp last week – is the celebrity everyone wants to watch because he doesn’t sit on the fence.

But IAC bosses have been criticised for allowing George into the jungle. He was jailed in 2009 for 15 months after being found guilty of the assault and false imprisonment of a former male escort, but given an early release after four months for good behaviour. And Lizzie admits, “he can’t get away from his past”.

Here, Lizzie talks about being “obsessed” with George growing up, why people can take things he says the wrong way and why she thinks he has what it takes to be crowned King of the Jungle…

Hi, Lizzie! Can you tell us about your friendship with Boy George?

Growing up, I was obsessed with Boy George, I adored him and had never seen anyone like him before. I’m his biggest fan. My friend and I got banned from school for wearing make-up like his. I met George five years ago and we got on like a house on fire.

What kind of things has he done for you as a friend?

I was doing a radio show during lockdown and it was when it was tricky to try and book people, but George did the show. He also kindly performed for free with the charity I’m involved with, playing to a big audience for nothing, which was incredible. He said on stage, “I’m doing this for Lizzie”, which I couldn’t believe!

How often do you hang out?

We often go to dinner at our favourite restaurant, China Tang at the Dorchester. He’s so generous and loves his food, as do I. Like me, he’s spiritual and loves star signs. I noticed he does tapping, which I also do to keep calm. You tap above your eyebrow, under your eye, under your chin, etc. It’s a way of keeping your energy calm.

Have you done any chanting with him?

No, but it keeps him grounded and in a good place.

How is he doing in the jungle?

I’m really proud of him because it’s out of his comfort zone. He loves his cooking and Charlene’s overtaking and he’s having to bite his lip. He’s a beautiful soul. George is honest. He’s like, “I want to be busy, give me a job to do.” He wasn’t being rude. People can take him the wrong way and think, “That’s him criticising.” George is so open – you know where you are with him. He’s very good with body language and can read people.

Some viewers have said he has no right to call Charlene “controlling” after he was sent to prison in 2009 for handcuffing a former male escort to a radiator. What do you think?

That was awful. I don’t think he can get away from it. He’s done his time and hasn’t had a drink of alcohol since then and has turned his life around. So it is harsh for people to say that. He’s even said in the jungle, “Look, I like being in control, give me something to do.” You’ve got to love George for his honesty because he says what people think.

Is it good he speaks his mind?

Yes, it’s so boring on reality TV and in real life otherwise.

He was really cool in the trial with Chris Moyles. Will anything bother him?

I don’t think nature or wildlife will scare him because he’s embracing it, getting up early, chanting and puts himself somewhere else. But if someone is annoying him, such as Matt Hancock, George won’t hold back. Anything fake or phoney, George will pull them up on it. He is a very caring man. Matt will rub him up the wrong way.

Vanessa Feltz branded him obnoxious recently. What do you think about that?

She’s since gone on Instagram and apologised – I think the line was taken out of context. She meant he isn’t a people pleaser, which he isn’t. People aren’t used to people being straight up and saying what they think. But that’s what I like, he’s true to himself.

Do you think he will he take the negative comments well when he gets out?

He has the best sense of humour, he’ll brush it off. He’ll find a lot of it funny – he won’t want to hurt anyone. He’s very quick. If he’s not happy, he’ll say so. George won’t sit on any fence, but he’s got a heart of gold.

How do you think he feels about not wearing make-up?

When we meet for dinner, he doesn’t have any make-up on and he’s got the most beautiful face and beautiful piercing blue eyes. He looks amazing. He loves his make-up and it’s all theatre, but he really does look good without make-up. He’s got great skin, I forget how old he is.

Do you think he’s missing it?

I’m sure he will because he loves dressing up. He loves his hats, it made me laugh when he made a hat when he was walking along the beach. He’s got his own style.

He’s quite close to Chris Moyles. Who else does he like in there?

He quite likes Owen. In as nice a way as possible, I think Owen is the new Joey Essex. He wants to learn new things and George will find him endearing because everything’s a novelty and adventure to Owen.

Why is he doing the show?

He’s reaching out to a whole new audience. My son loves him. He’s like a Rylan, you can’t not love him. He’s got this big smile and he’s really lovely and a nice guy. He has a huge following and he made it in America as well, he was in The A-Team. So he’s done lots of different shows, but he’s up for trying new things.

Can he win the show?

Yes. People will get to know him, the legend.


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