WHEN she stepped into the Australian jungle last November, Georgia Toffolo feared few would know her and wondered how many might hate her.
Three short weeks later she stepped out as the winner of I’m A Celebrity, known affectionately to millions simply as Toff.
From that moment, her life changed forever.
Now the Made In Chelsea star is forging a successful career as a mainstream TV presenter with a regular slot on ITV’s This Morning.
“I thought people might really dislike me on I’m A Celebrity because of the nature of the programme I was known for,” admits Toff, 23, as she sits down for a chat with iN10.
“I worried they might think I was an idiot. I just felt grateful to be going in as I didn’t count myself as a celebrity.
“There were some really big names and I didn’t even really think I’d be going. When I was in there I tried to just take it day by day and it turned out to be the most amazing experience.”
Viewers took to her friendly manner, playing peacemaker when tensions threatened to boil over, and the fact she got on with everyone.
She’s adamant that she was simply being herself.
Politics-mad and a committed Conservative, the only surprising thing about the friendship she forged with Stanley Johnson, dad of Home Secretary Boris, was how deep it was and how smitten she seemed.
Less likely, given her socialite background, cut glass accent and elite public school education, was the lasting bond with former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.
“It was unlikely but politics shouldn’t define friendships,” insists Toff. “We were so fond of each other and she’s such a strong, intelligent lady.
“We’ve kept in touch since, and I hang out a lot with Stanley. He’s been in Australia recently and I was really missing him. I enjoy his company.
“He sent me some pictures from over there which were so sweet.”
What also won over viewers, who thought she’d be a posh pushover who’d weep at the mere prospect of a Bushtucker Trial, was her plucky determination to give anything a go.
That included being suspended mid-air in a Perspex box filled with snakes.
There was, it turns out, a very practical reason she wasn’t as horrified as she might be.
“I was actually quite grateful to get the snake one.
“I’d burned a lot of my clothes on the fire and only had one outfit left, a tank top and shorts.
“Normally when you go off to do a Trial you’d come back absolutely stinking of goodness knows what horrible stuff.
“Snakes don’t smell, so I knew that if I could just lie there I’d come back with nine stars and also be able to still wear my clothes!”
Over the three weeks, Toff’s family had the chance to get used to the slowly-building Toff-mania.
But, having been in the bubble of the camp, she admits stepping out into a maelstrom she couldn’t have imagined totally floored her.
Having never watched any of it back, Toff says she still doesn’t comprehend what it was that enticed people to vote for her.
“Coming out was the craziest 24 hours of my life and I’m still not used to it, to be honest.”
As one of ITV’s biggest hits, I’m A Celebrity brings a profile and opens doors that would otherwise have been firmly closed.
Previous Queen of the Jungle Scarlett Moffat, pictured above right, has gone from Gogglebox sofa-sitter to a starring role on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
Her profile is such she was trusted to join Stephen Mulhern to act as back-up for Dec in the live Florida finale after Ant’s car-crash fall from grace.
And Toff has also been snapped up by ITV, with the This Morning role which came about as they liked what they saw when they did a post-jungle interview with her.
She admits that, as a fledgling presenter, working alongside Phil and Holly and Ruth and Eamonn is the best possible education.
“They are absolutely the best in the business,” says Toff. “When I’m not working on it I still sit and watch the show whenever I’m at home, just to pick up tips.
“Even just things like the way Holly holds herself. It’s great to have a role model like her.”
Toff has actually been something of a role model herself. She suffers badly from acne, to the extent that she was left in tears before entering the jungle when she feared she wouldn’t be able to take her essential foundation in with her.
And one of her first segments she did on This Morning was talking about the issue.
“I hid the extent of my skin problem for four years. I started questioning how I could be a role model when I was using apps to smooth out my face on photographs before I uploaded them to Instagram.
“I felt it was a travesty that I wasn’t being upfront about it. Talking about it wasn’t easy.
“In fact, it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding.
“I’ve had so many people get in touch to say thanks.
“People think of celebrity as some sort of perfection that you can’t ever achieve.
“But that’s so far from the truth.”
Toff’s This Morning duties included being sent to cover the Oscars in March.
It was such a whirlwind she hardly had a minute to step back and take it all in.
But she admits finding herself on a red carpet pitching questions to Oscar-winner Gary Oldman was definitely one of those pinch-me moments.
Romance has had to take a back seat as she focuses on This Morning and some of the myriad of other opportunities that have come flooding in.
There is, though, the little matter of Made In Chelsea, the hit E4 show that made her name and has proved to be the springboard for everything else.
She had been doing a law degree, having wanted to be a barrister from about the age of 10.
To help finance her studies she was working as a poorly-paid nanny when the chance to join the reality show and boost her earning power came along.
Now, although she has just completed the latest block of filming, decisions have to be made.
“I love the show and I haven’t ever seen myself leaving,” she confides. “But something is going to have to give at some point because I can’t keep on running around like a headless chicken.
“It’s been nearly four-and-a-half years and we don’t really get a break.
“In an ideal world I’d like to do everything, so we’ll just have to see.”
While her blonde hair and bubbly personality go a long way to ensuring Toff will forever stand out in a crowd, there’s one thing that gets her noticed above all else – that voice.
“It’s SO annoying,” she giggles.
“I’m always on the go and always wanting to speak to my family and my friends.
“But when I’m on the phone my voice is like a foghorn.
“Everyone turns around and people always say they knew it was me before they looked.
“I just think, ‘Great – why am I so loud!’”
This Morning ITV weekdays 10.30am.