Akmal: I was scared of not being funny on I'm A Celeb
COMEDIAN Akmal Saleh confronted his greatest fear of not being funny on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The stand-up comic and author was the second celebrity contestant sent packing from the South African jungle last night.
He said the pressure to provide the laughs in camp was scarier to him than any tucker trial.
"I never felt comfortable, like I was out of place somehow. A lot of people don't realise but the majority of comedians are introverted people," he told APN.
"This setting wasn't just a social setting, it was extreme. You were with people you didn't know, you were hungry and stressed and being filmed all the time, and then there was that extra pressure (on me) to be funny and witty.
"With what I normally do (on stage), I know immediately if something's worked or hasn't worked. On the show you don't know if you're coming across as annoying or loud or inarticulate and that was the scariest thing, not knowing."
Saleh, 51, surprised himself by his ability to get along with all of the diverse personalities on the show, including controversial former bachelorette Laurina Fleure.
"Proud of the fact that I got on with everybody," he said.
"I didn't have an incident with any of them and I wasn't expecting that.
"What people didn't understand about Laurina was all that carrying on is a character and she does it to protect herself. When you get to know her she's got a wicked sense of humour and she's extremely intelligent.
"She's actually a tender, gentle, thoughtful person. I liked her a lot."
He tips actor and former Australian Idol contestant Dean Geyer as the show's dark horse.
"There are two people who have not complained once yet - Val and Dean," he said.
"I don't know if he's doing well or giving impression he's doing well, but he seems really resilient."
I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! continues tonight at 7.30pm on Channel 10.