Pope Francis on Couples Who Decide to Have Pets Instead of Children: ‘Nations Suffer From This’

Pope Francis leaves the Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation (Sayidat al-Najat) in Baghdad
Pope Francis leaves the Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation (Sayidat al-Najat) in Baghdad

AYMAN HENNA/AFP via Getty Pope Francis

Pope Francis shared his opinion on couples who decide to have pets instead of children, saying that it results in a loss of “humanity.”

While speaking to a general audience about Saint Joseph serving as Jesus’ “foster father,” Pope Francis, 85, said, according to translation from Vatican News, “Joseph shows us that this type of bond is not secondary; it is not an afterthought, no, this kind of choice is among the highest forms of love, and of fatherhood and motherhood. How many children in the world are waiting for someone to take care of them?”

He applauded those who decide to adopt children before turning his attention to couples who choose to have pets rather than children.

“Some people don’t wish to have children, or maybe just one or two. Many couples don’t have children, perhaps because they do not wish to, or they only have one and not more,” Pope Francis said. “But they might have two domestic animals, two dogs or cats. This is quite a contrast.”

He said that “giving up on being a mother or father can take some of our humanity away from us,” adding, “society becomes older and without humanity because we lose the richness of motherhood and fatherhood. Nations suffer from this.”

He later added that while it’s “always a risk” to have children biologically or through adoption, it’s “even more risky not having children.”

“We need to be open to motherhood and fatherhood otherwise we can be lacking in ourselves and we can lack in humanity,” Pope Francis said.

The Pope is no stranger to openly speaking on marriages and families. A March 2021 statement from the Vatican, approved by Pope Francis, said the Catholic Church will not bless same-sex unions because God “does not and cannot bless sin.”

The statement served as a formal response to questions regarding the Church’s power to bless same-sex marriages after Pope Francis declared his support for the civil unions of same-sex couples.

While the Vatican said that the community should welcome gay people with “respect and sensitivity,” their unions would not receive the same embrace, as under Catholic teachings, marriages as per “God’s plan” should be between a man and a woman to create new life.

“For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage, as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” the statement said.

The Vatican went on to say that while there are “positive elements” in such relationships that are “valued and appreciated,” it “cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of the ecclesial blessing.”

“The declaration of the unlawfulness of blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not therefore, and is not intended to be, a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them,” the statement said.


Bindi Irwin shares new tattoo honouring her daughter and late father Steve Irwin

Bindi Irwin's new tattoo (c) Instagram credit:Bang Showbiz
Bindi Irwin’s new tattoo (c) Instagram credit:Bang Showbiz

Bindi Irwin has honoured her late father, Steve Irwin, and her daughter with a new tattoo.

The 23-year-old conservationist had the words ‘Graceful Warrior’ inked on her arm, along with an alligator drawing and explained the text – which paid tribute to nine-month-old Grace Warrior – was written in the ‘Crocodile Hunter’s handwriting.

Sharing a photo on Instagram featuring her tattooed arm reaching for her daughter’s hand, Bindi wrote: “The words I spoke to our daughter as I held her for the first time in my arms were, ‘My graceful warrior’. That’s how her name was born.

“This is my dad’s handwriting to keep him with me, always. Our dear alligator, Daisy, is next to these words to represent our conservation work as Wildlife Warriors. And my beautiful wedding ring in bloom.”

The ‘Dancing With the Stars’ winner – who has Grace with her husband Chandler Powell, 25 – explained the “empowering” tattoo offered a reminder of the three most important things in her life and she felt the time was right to get inked as she has weaned her baby.

Bindi continued: “Validation every day of the three most important things in my life: family, purpose and unconditional love. [Heart emoji] Since Grace’s breastfeeding journey ended, now felt like the perfect time for this empowering artwork.(sic)”

In the post’s comment section, Bindi gave thanks to Kelly McQuirk, the tattoo artist who collaborated with her on the design.

And Kelly shared a message on her Instagram Story, reading: “So blessed to be able to create such heartfelt and important pieces for @bindisueirwin. Your kindness and compassion are out of this world. Adore you.(sic)”

Bindi Irwin unveils new tattoo made using her late father’s handwriting

Danielle Desouza, PAFri, 7 January 2022, 12:00 pm

Bindi Irwin has unveiled her new tattoo, which has been made using her late father’s handwriting and honours her own daughter.

Wildlife expert Steve Irwin died in September 2006 at the age of 44 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb.

His 23-year-old daughter’s tattoo reads “graceful warrior”, which were the words she said to her baby daughter when she “held her for the first time”.

The conservationist and TV personality gave birth to Grace Warrior Irwin Powell on March 25 2021 – the first anniversary of Irwin’s marriage to Chandler Powell.To view this content, you’ll need to update your privacy settings.Please click here to do so.

In an Instagram post, Irwin wrote: “The words I spoke to our daughter as I held her for the first time in my arms were ‘My graceful warrior’. That’s how her name was born.

“This is my dad’s handwriting to keep him with me, always. Our dear alligator, Daisy, is next to these words to represent our conservation work as Wildlife Warriors.”

The post continued: “And my beautiful wedding ring in bloom. Validation every day of the three most important things in my life: family, purpose and unconditional love.

“Since Grace’s breastfeeding journey ended, now felt like the perfect time for this empowering artwork.”

Powell commented underneath the post: “Such gorgeous artwork. You amaze me every day. Each one is meaningful to mark this special time in our life together. Also, the Florida in me loves the alligator. Love you so much.”

Last year Irwin paid tribute to her late father, sharing a photo of them together and writing: “Your legacy will live on forever. I love you for even longer.”

Cost of living crisis: 2022 ‘could be worse than the financial crisis’

Nadine Batchelor-Hunt·Political Correspondent – Yahoo News UKFri, 7 January 2022, 11:32 am

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts during a virtual press conference to update the nation on the status of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the Downing Street briefing room in central London on January 4, 2022. - British hospitals have switched to a
The director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned 2022 could be worse than the 2008/09 financial crisis. (Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has been warned that the growing cost of living crisis could leave Brits worse off than the financial crash of 2008.

The 2008/09 recession was one of the worst on record, with hundreds of thousands of businesses closing and an estimated 3.7m people being made redundant as a result.

Rising inflation, tax increases, and soaring energy bills have been cited by experts as the key factors driving up the cost of living in 2022 – with predictions that the average household in the UK will be £1,200 worse off in the coming months.

Paul Johnson, the director of the independent think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), said tax rises, fuel prices, and inflation are creating a potentially devastating environment for households across the country. 

Read more: What is behind the cost-of-living ‘crisis’ and what can we do to cope?

He said: “If you are someone on average earnings who is going to be hit by a tax rise as a result of the reduction of the personal allowance, and a tax rise because of national insurance, and an extra potential several hundreds pounds a year from fuel prices, then this could well be worse than the financial crisis.

“There’s going to be inflation of six or seven per cent and earnings not going up anywhere near that fast – so put those two things together and I find it hard to think of a March-April period which will have been quite so bad. This is a combination of a big tax rise and falling real earnings. It’s not pretty.”

And Johnson is not alone in his concerns, with some experts warning that 2022 could be catastrophic and affect “the vast majority of households”. 

Watch: Britons facing ‘cost-of-living catastrophe’ with average household £1,200 worse off, experts warn 0:01 2:18   Britons facing ‘cost-of-living catastrophe’ with average household £1,200 worse off, experts warn

The Resolution Foundation, think tank for low and middle income households, said in December that next year will be the “year of the squeeze”.

“Rising inflation has focused minds on the cost of living squeeze this winter,” said the think tank.

“These pressures are likely to build in the new year with further price rises outstripping pay growth.

“The spring looks particularly difficult, with April bringing a cost of living catastrophe affecting the vast majority of households: soaring energy bills and significant tax rises will see an annual income hit to the typical household of over £1,000.”

Read more: ‘Do I pay for food or do I pay for heat?’: Energy bills surge squeezes poorest

Elsewhere, Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis warned of a “seismic” impact from rising energy bills and called for a “substantial intervention”.

“We are going to see a minimum 50% increase in energy prices in the system and that is unsustainable for many,” he said.

There have been calls from within the prime minister’s own party to cancel tax on fuel and energy bills in response to the cost of living crisis, with 20 MPs – including five ex-ministers – penning an article in The Telegraph on the issue.

“We hardly need to point out that high energy prices, whether for domestic heating or for domestic transport, are felt most painfully by the lowest paid,” they wrote.

And senior Conservative, speaker of the House and cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, has reportedly broken ranks and called for the chancellor to cancel planned rises in National Insurance from April. 

Undated file photo of a gas ring on a home cooker in London. Soaring gas prices consigned a string of energy suppliers to the graveyard in 2021, and will lead to runaway household bills next year as the sector continues to struggle. Energy suppliers had been paying 54p per therm of gas at the beginning of the year. By September, that had reached more than �3 and peaked even further to �4.50 just before Christmas. Issue date: Tuesday December 28, 2021.
Energy bills are set to soar by up to 50% in 2022. (PA Images)

Rishi Sunak said on Thursday he understands “people’s anxiety or concern about rising prices and inflation” and that he was “always listening” to the them – However has reportedly ruled out cancelling tax rises and rejected calls for cutting tax on energy bills. 

On cutting National Insurance rises, the chancellor said: “I think people’s priorities are for us to invest in the NHS to invest in social care, and we need to make sure that those investments are funded sustainably. 

“That’s what we’re doing and now we’ve got to get on and deliver that change for people.”

And the prime minister last week described cutting tax to energy bills as a “blunt instrument” that would benefit families that aren’t struggling with bills. 

However, Number 10 indicated this week that they had not ruled out a new package of measures to help struggling Brits. 


COVID: Omicron reinfections ‘rising rapidly’ in over 30s

Ellen Manning

Ellen ManningFri, 7 January 2022, 11:26 am

Paramedics prepare to offload a patient on a stretcher outside St Thomas� Hospital in London. Covid-19 hospitalisations are rising in the UK amid the latest wave of Covid-19 infections being fuelled by the Omicron variant. Although the numbers remain far below peak, the infection rate threatens to overwhelm the NHS, and may cause staff shortages as workers are forced to quarantine. (Photo by Tejas Sandhu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
The numbers of people being reinfected with the Omicron variant of COVID after already having the virus is rising rapidly, according to new figures. (Getty)

The number of COVID reinfections is rising rapidly in people over the age of 30, a UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) expert has warned. 

According the latest UKHSA data, at least 268,517 people had had COVID more than once in England by the end of December.

Epidemiologist Meaghan Kall said the figure is likely to be a significant underestimate due to limited testing in the first coronavirus wave, adding that more data is needed to understand whether reinfections are milder. 

In a series of tweets, Kall said reinfections started rising in the under 30s when the Omicron wave first hit, but are now rising in those aged over 30.

The omicron variant’s ability to evade previous immunity means around one in 10 new COVID-19 infections are in people who have previously had the virus, she added.

Epidemiologist Meaghan Kall said cases of omicron reinfections are rising rapidly in the over-30s. (Twitter/Meaghan Kall)
Epidemiologist Meaghan Kall said cases of omicron reinfections are rising rapidly in the over-30s. (Twitter/Meaghan Kall)

In December, a report from Imperial College London suggested that the risk of reinfection with Omicron is more than five times higher than with the previous Delta variant. 

Currently, the UK’s daily COVID data does not include reinfections, leading to calls to change the system.

Watch: PM insists reports of NHS having too few staff ‘not true’ 0:00 1:35   PM insists reports of NHS having too few staff ‘not true’

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at the University of Cambridge, told the Guardian: “The reinfection rate was fairly low with Delta, but is higher now, both because prior infection provides little protection against Omicron, and there is a bigger pool of people with prior infection.”

So far, Boris Johnson has steered away from imposing fresh restrictions to tackle the wave of Omicron cases, sticking with Plan B measures amid warnings that the NHS is at breaking point.

Earlier this week, as daily confirmed COVID cases in the UK exceeded 200,000 for the first time, the prime minister acknowledged that parts of the NHS would feel “temporarily overwhelmed”, but said current guidance for people to wear masks and to work from home, as well as COVID passes, would help “ride out” the latest wave of infections.

However, Johnson is facing warnings that the NHS is at breaking point.

On Friday it emerged that the army is preparing to further support the NHS through the current wave of COVID-19, NHS data showing that staff absences due to COVID have risen 59% in a week.

Some 39,142 NHS staff were off sick due to COVID reasons on 2 January. 

Around 200 army personnel have already been drafted in to help the NHS in London.

File photo dated 20/10/20 of staff on a hospital ward. The NHS is as stretched now as it was at the height of the pandemic in January and things will get worse before they get better, health leaders have said. Issue date: Tuesday July 27, 2021.
The government is facing warnings that the NHS is overwhelmed. (Stock image: Getty)

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said rising Omicron cases were “piling even more pressure” on hospital trust workers.

He said: “Omicron means more patients to treat and fewer staff to treat them.

“In fact, around 10,000 more colleagues across the NHS were absent each day last week compared with the previous seven days and almost half of all absences are now down to COVID.

“While we don’t know the full scale of the potential impact this new strain will have, it’s clear it spreads more easily and, as a result, COVID cases in hospitals are the highest they’ve been since February last year – piling even more pressure on hard-working staff.”

Patricia Marquis, the Royal College of Nursing’s director for England, said: “Outside of healthcare, staffing shortages are closing shops and cancelling trains but nurses can’t stop helping their patients.

“Instead, they find themselves spread thinner and thinner, but they can’t keep spinning plates indefinitely either – this situation is simply not safe.”

Londoners urged to get the jab as troops deployed to support NHS

Nicholas Cecil and Anthony FranceFri, 7 January 2022, 11:16 am

Londoners have been urged to use their “best weapon” against Covid – getting jabbed – as the military was deployed to support hospitals in the capital under great strain.

Some 200 armed forces personnel are being made available to hospitals across the capital, which has been the epicentre of the Omicron outbreak with a huge upsurge in cases.

The MoD said the deployment includes 40 military medics and 160 general duty personnel to help fill gaps caused by absences due to NHS staff unable to work because they are ill or having to self-isolate.

They will be deployed in 40 teams of five – comprising one medic and four support personnel – and will be targeted at areas where the need is greatest.

It is expected they will be “on task” for the next three weeks.

London minister Paul Scully stressed bringing in the military was not a normal situation as the Omicron wave has swept through the city with extraordinary speed.

He told Sky News: “When you talk about armed forces around hospitals, they are not sitting there in combats…its more people helping out the undoubted pressures on the NHS and that’s why we want people to get out and get vaccinated and get boosted because that remains our best weapon against the pressures on the NHS and against Covid as we learn to live with Covid.”

Asked on LBC Radio whether the Omicron wave appeared to be easing in London, he added: “It’s looking encouraging, the trend at the moment, but clearly we still need to be on our guard because there is still pressure on the NHS in London.”

Official figures suggest Covid cases may have peaked in the capital and hospitalisations could also be plateauing, though, it is too early to say either with any certainly given infections are still rising among elderly Londoners who are more vulnerable to the virus and the effect of the return to work and school is yet to be seen.

Mr Scully also stressed the high level of staff absences in the NHS in the city due to so many people having to self-isolate given the spread of the disease.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association, told Sky News “we have never known this level of staff absence before” and that thousands of patients were suffering the “consequences” of the pressures on the NHS.

He said although Omicron was milder, people were still falling seriously ill with Covid-19 and hospitals were dealing with the NHS treatment backlog, with almost six million people on the waiting list.

He added: “The reality of the Army having been drafted in to London, the reality of 24 hospitals having declared critical incidents, the reality of having some hospitals having to cancel all their routine surgery, the reality of general practices having to cancel clinics on the day.

“I’m a GP, I’ve never known it this bad. We’re having to literally contact patients without notice that the staff member or a doctor or nurse just isn’t in today because they’re self-isolating.

“This is not normal, and therefore, the Government does need to recognise this is clearly an NHS under extreme pressure and the living reality sadly for thousands of patients is that they’re suffering the consequences of such pressures and also staff absence.”

The announcement comes after Boris Johnson said this week ministers hoped to “ride out” the latest wave without the need for further restrictions in England.


In addition, 32 military co-responders are being provided to support the South Central Ambulance Service, working alongside paramedics until the end of March.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The men and women of our armed forces are once again stepping up to support their dedicated colleagues in the NHS as they work hand-in-hand to protect the nation from Covid-19.

“They have shown their worth time and again throughout this pandemic, whether driving ambulances, administering vaccines or supporting patients in hospital, and they should be proud of their contribution to this truly national effort.”

Around 1,800 service personnel are already deployed across the UK to support the civil authorities in their response to the pandemic.

They include 313 personnel who have been made available to the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust and 96 to the Scottish Ambulance Service.

More than 1,000 service personnel have been provided to support the vaccine booster programme.


James Corden’s US talk show off air after star tests positive for COVID

Julia Hunt

Julia Hunt·ContributorFri, 7 January 2022, 9:27 am

James Corden’s US chat show has been taken off air after the star tested positive for COVID.

The comedian, 43, posted a message on Instagram telling fans that The Late Late Show would be off “for the next few days”.

However, he assured fans that he was feeling “completely fine”.

Corden wrote: “I just tested positive for COVID 19.

“I’m fully vaccinated, boosted and because of this am fortunate enough to say I feel completely fine.

“The show will be off the air for a few days.”

LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 14: The Late Late Show with James Corden airing Tuesday, December 14, 2021, with guests Tessa Thompson, Dwyane Wade, and standup comic Andrew Michaan. (Photo by Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images)
The show is off air for a few days. (Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images)

“Stay safe everyone,” he added.

“All my love, James x.”

Fans flocked to the comments section after Corden shared his news, wishing him well and saying they hoped to see him back on screen soon.

“Take care. So grateful for science & medicine,” said one person.To view this content, you’ll need to update your privacy settings.Please click here to do so.

“Omggg noooo, wishing you a speedy recovery James,” wrote one.

“Good to hear you feel fine,” posted another.

“We will miss you, but know you’ll be back soon,” said another.

Corden is not the only talk show host to have been affected by the coronavirus in recent weeks.

The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon tested positive on the first day of his Christmas break, but only suffered mild symptoms.

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1577 -- Pictured: Host Jimmy Fallon during Hashtags on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 -- (Photo by: Paula Lobo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Jimmy Fallon tested positive. (Paula Lobo/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The View’s Whoopi Goldberg had to miss the year’s first episode after testing positive, and Late Night With Seth Meyers was cancelled for several days after Meyers caught COVID.

Additional reporting by PA.

Who is PinkPantheress, BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2022 winner?

Rising: PinkPantheress  (Handout)
Rising: PinkPantheress (Handout)

The BBC Sound of… poll can be a star-maker. Adele, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding are among the previous winners, and as such, the announcement of who’s been picked out as the up-and-comer with a big year ahead of them is always worth looking out for.

This year, it’s PinkPantheress. The TikTok sensation saw off some pretty stern competition on the shortlist — buzz band Wet Leg, fellow social media breakout star Mimi Webb, south London vocalist Lola Young and UK rap riser Central Cee — but came out on top after being chosen by panel of more than 130 industry experts including Elton John, Billie Eilish and Jorja Smith.

Here’s everything you need to know about PinkPantheress.

So… who is she?

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok over the past year or so, then you’ve probably heard her music. But if internet fame seems to usually go hand in hand with tell-all online personas, then PinkPantheress has gone the other way.

We don’t officially know her real name — a quick google will give you one, but it hasn’t been confirmed by the artist or her PR reps — and only in the last few months have we found out what she looks like. But none of that has stopped PinkPantheress from signing a record deal with a major label, racking up hundreds of millions of streams, entering the UK charts and, now, topping the BBC Sound of.. poll.

Thanks to the few interviews she’s given, we do know a few things about the viral star: she was born in Bath in 2001 to a Kenyan mother and English father, and moved to Kent as a child. In her teens, she covered Noughties heroes My Chemical Romance and Paramore in a band, before experimenting with production on GarageBand.

While at university in London, she started putting her music on Soundcloud, but received little attention, and so turned her attention to TikTok. The all-consuming app picks up and chucks out viral songs with ferocity — Doja Cat and Olivia Rodrigo, two of the biggest musicians on the planet right now, have both seen their tracks dominate the app.

And like those two, PinkPantheress’s success has proved more sustainable than a flash in the TikTok pan. Her borderless production style — a moreish, sample-heavy blend of bedroom pop, drum’n’bass, emo, 2-step, garage, hyperpop, disco and beyond, all packaged up in songs that rarely venture far past the two-minute mark — has won her admirers in both the music press and the industry, with Parlophone and Elektra signing her last summer.

Her debut mixtape, To Hell with It, arrived in October with 10 tracks clocking in at just shy of 19 minutes.

What are her biggest songs so far?

Just a waste

The track that kick-started it all, and her first TikTok hit, reimagining Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall.


Another TikTok smash, and her most-streamed track to date — an emo-tinged spin on a UK garage classic, the Sunship edit of Sweet Female Attitude’s Flowers.

Break it off

The lead single off that debut mixtape, this time it’s an alt-pop, heart-ache redo of Adam F’s drum’n’bass favourite Circles.

What did the judges say about her?

Jack Saunders, host of Radio 1’s Future Artists, said she was a “pop prodigy” and that “everybody wants to be a PinkPantheress fan at the moment”. He added: “It was a fierce year for talent on Radio 1’s Sound of list this year and that shows you the quality of the winner, PinkPantheress.”

Can I see her live?

Not for a while, it seems. She played her first ever live shows in October and November last year, with three London dates at the Pickle Factory, Bermondsey Social Club and The Cause.

And as it stands, the next time she’ll take to that stage will be at Reading and Leeds festivals in August. But we wouldn’t be surprised if some other gigs get announced (and then swiftly sell out) in the meantime. Keep your eyes peeled.

And finally… how did she get that name?

No-one expected Bradley Walsh to have played an indirect role in naming the hottest new viral musician, but he did: PinkPantheress’s stage name was jointly inspired by a question asked on The Chase (“What is a female panther called?”) and the title of one of her favourite films, Steve Martin’s Pink Panther remake.

Ant McPartlin says he worried new show Limitless Win would ‘bankrupt ITV’

Danielle Desouza, PAFri, 7 January 2022, 12:01 am

Ant McPartlin has said he and Declan Donnelly were worried they were going to “bankrupt ITV” with their new game show.

Limitless Win sees contestants compete for the world’s first unlimited jackpot.

Five hour-long episodes will air on Saturday nights, with the channel describing the show as “packed with drama, jeopardy and real emotion”.

McPartlin told the PA news agency: “We did worry that we were going to bankrupt ITV.”

Donnelly quipped they would have to call fellow TV presenter Andi Peters, known for running cash competitions on ITV’s morning programmes, for “more prize money”.

Asked what makes their show stand out, McPartlin said: “I think ours is different because the answer to every question is a number, and it’s very simple, and everyone can play along.

“You don’t have to be the brains of Britain. And with other quiz shows, suddenly when you get into very serious money, the answers become impossible to play along with, but with this you can have a stab at every one.

“And what makes it different is it’s the world’s first limitless jackpot. That’s the selling point for us, and that’s what hooked us in, is the fact there’s no top prize, and if you played this game right, you could win millions upon millions of pounds.”

The duo have hosted a series of primetime shows over the years, including Saturday Night Takeaway and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, and won a raft of TV awards, including most popular TV presenter at the National Television Awards for 20 years running.

Dec waving and Ant smiling
Ant and Dec (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

However, Donnelly said Limitless Win grabbed his attention more than any other show over the past decade.

“Nothing has really tickled us in the last 10 years, nothing’s really grabbed us. And the first time we played this, we were like, ‘Oh my God, I love it. I love it’,” he said.

McPartlin recalled a moment when the pair found it hard to keep their composure when a couple on the show decided to risk a lot of money.

He said: “We wear our emotions on our face, and there’s one point in the first episode where the couple that we have on risk a lot of money that they’d already banked, and we nearly have kittens, and nearly jump over the side of the set.”

Limitless Win starts on ITV on January 8.

Jordan North: I was so skint when the pandemic hit I nearly moved back up north

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Jordan North attends ITV Palooza! at The Royal Festival Hall on November 23, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Jordan North attends ITV Palooza! at The Royal Festival Hall in November 2021. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Radio DJ Jordan North has revealed he was ‘so skint’ when the pandemic hit that he nearly had to move back up north.

Speaking to Kate Thornton on her White Wine Question Time podcast (recorded in 2021) the BBC Radio 1 presenter — and runner up on 2020’s I’m A Celebrity—say he ‘lost all work’ when the pandemic hit.

He said: “There was a couple of times, especially during the pandemic, where I nearly moved back up north. It doesn’t seem that long ago, it was only last summer, summer 2020.

“I was so skint, and my mum and dad had moved out to Spain. They had to pay for my flight out to go and see them.”

“I’m not going ‘woe is me’, because I know so many people are in a lot worse situations. But I’d lost all my work. I used to cover at Radio 1 and I was only on on Sunday mornings.

WATCH: Jordan North on how being sick in the jungle led to his greatest career success 0:00 1:59   Jordan North on kipping on the Radio 1 Live Lounge sofa, ending up on I’m A Celeb, and how being sick on a cliff was the making of his career

“So I used to do my Sunday morning show and then had a lot of other work around it, doing bits here and there. DJ gigs at universities and stuff.

“Compared to summer 2020 where I lost all work, and now where I’m so busy, I’m like: ‘Oh, what am I gonna do? I need a day off!'”

North finished second place in the 2020 edition of I’m A Celebrity behind Giovanna Fletcher. His new found TV fame led to a slot presenting the Radio 1 drivetime show with Vick Hope, taking over from Nick Grimshaw in September last year. He was also named as the new co-presenter for the BBC’s festive Top of the Pops specials.

From ITV Studios

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! SR20 on ITV

Pictured: Jordan North.

This photograph is (C)ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk.  This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms

For further information please contact:
james.hilder@itv.com / 0207 157 3052
Jordan North appeared in the 2020 edition of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (ITV)

North also talked to Thornton about the “madness” of finding himself in the castle with Victoria Derbyshire, whose show he had worked on as a researcher in the past.

He said: “Of all the shows I have worked on, I learned from Vic’s show the most. Because that lady I’ve got a lot of time for. She is precise, she does her research, she really does her prep for guests and I’m the same now.

Listen to the full episode to hear Jordan talk about his early love of local radio and about how his family narrowly avoided being caught up in the Omagh bombing

White Wine Question Time Banner
White Wine Question Time Banner

“I saw her at the top of the cliff. And I was like: ‘Oh my god, Vic!’ I’ve not watched much of it back but I remember saying: ‘I used to be her tea boy.’ 

“And then we were in the castle together. And it was just mad. This lady that I really admired and looked up to and used to work for. We had kept in touch. 

“And then about 20 minutes later, I was sick. And as my agent said, you being sick on that place was the best thing ever!”