People and Places
26/02/2020
Jungle boogie, baboons and beauty-imbued smarts

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Imagine this: being chased by Brob the barking baboon in Kruger National Park in South Africa and having to keep your campfire burning at night to ensure he and his mates don’t come calling. Sounds like fun. Or coming face to face with a Mozambique spitting cobra that gobs venom into your eyeballs for a party trick. Nice. Or getting one too many tick bites before reaching for the kitchen knife in an attempt to cut yourself free from these relentlessly annoying mouth-hooking mini-beasts. Ripper.

Then imagine this: winning $100,000 for a charity of your choice should you be the last man or woman standing in Network 10’s sixth season of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Australia. Maybe the above doesn’t seem so bad. Probably? Yes?

Peninsula resident and comedian, actor and television presenter Nikki Osborne chuckles: “I’m out after 18 days. The hardest part of being in the jungle was starving.” We both metaphorically lean back with laughter as this funny girl with a serious dash of goof-infused blond bombshell beauty continues: “Porridge for breakfast. Rice and kale for lunch and some piece of random animal for dinner. I think there was an impala leg once. Ha! Miguel (Maestre) cooked dinner with a pan on the campfire. Ugh. Here you are in a jungle with hidden cameras all around you and a bunch of celebrities. Rhonda Burchmore went into some kind of alpha-trance and almost got attacked by a cobra, and Miguel pulled out his kitchen knife before being asked to go to the medics for tick treatment. I got chased by the baboon. It was nuts.” 

This 38-year-old mother of two, who was almost punched on a cruise ship by a stranger and is the first comedian to be allocated bouncers while touring, came from a sketch comedy background before trying her hand at stand-up. She continues: “I got heaps of backlash and trolling for my show On the Spectrum but there was a message I had to deliver.  I even got hate mail and eventually had to pull back. At first it was tricky doing stand-up because of the way I look.” Check out her Instagram page to get a gawk. “People presume I am going to be average so it’s a bigger bonus when I don’t suck.” 

Should Nikki have won I’m A Celebrity, her winnings would have gone to Aspect Australia, which is Australia’s largest service provider for people with autism. Her son has high-functioning autism. You’ll often find this native Queenslander and her family on the bay in their runabout doing donuts, and in between times Nikki is doing what she does best: performing – including two years straight at the Sydney Opera House and on Hughsey, We Have A Problem. She’s just become the face of one of Mornington’s top car dealerships and has recently hosted the Red Hill Relief Bush Fire Benefit. She’s also set to tour a stand-up show later this year and there are some exciting plans in the pipeline.

This friendly and wonderfully witty woman concludes: “My family were on survival mode when I was in the jungle. I was the only mum there with small kids and they wanted me home. My husband Jeremy had a hard time. I mean, the dog was having seizures. I got home to McCrae on January 23 and the Christmas tree was still up! Ha ha! I really enjoyed being with my campmates though.”

Yep, she may have been challenged in the jungle, but she’s still smiling now she’s out. Baboons and all.

LIZ ROGERS

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