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Published 17 July 2023 7 min read
England Women's Senior Team

Queen of the Jungle Jill Scott discusses returning to Australia with England's daily show

Written by:

Frank Smith

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Jill Scott is back in Australia for the first time since winning I'm a Celebrity...Get me out of Here as she presents England's daily show Lionesses: Down Under connected by EE

Jill Scott’s level of stardom reached new levels after spending a month in Australia during ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here but having seen so little of the country last year, the former midfielder is relishing her ‘first proper trip’ as part of the ‘Lionesses: Down Under connected by EE’ team.

At the weekend Jill returned to Australia for the first time since winning the iconic TV show in late November as she will be co-hosting England’s daily show ‘Lionesses: Down Under connected by EE’, alongside the presenter Kyle Walker, from Wednesday.

When Jill arrived in Australia late last year, she was swiftly rushed to a house before going into the jungle for almost a month.

Then upon being crowned ‘Queen of the Jungle’, apart from having a coffee the morning she flew home, Jill did not have the opportunity to experience Australia, so the legendary former midfielder can’t wait to see more of the beautiful country when the cameras are not rolling.

Jill said: “I had never been to Australia before ‘I’m a Celebrity’ so I'm classing this as like my first proper trip really to Australia, somewhere that I've always wanted to visit. 

“Obviously, Man City has that link to Melbourne City so my plan was actually to try to finish my career with maybe a little stint in Melbourne but my knee didn't hold out. 

“So it'll be nice to go and obviously experience the country because I always think it just looks such a fun place to be."

Jill will be joined by Sky Sports presenter Kyle Walker on Lionesses: Down Under connected by EE
Jill will be joined by Sky Sports presenter Kyle Walker on Lionesses: Down Under connected by EE

With Jill being 36 years old, the former England star grew up in a time when Australians had a huge impact on the culture in the United Kingdom, from Home and Away and Neighbours on your television screens, to the likes of Kylie Minogue topping the charts, to a host of the country’s leading actors, such as Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and Heath Ledger to name a few, involved with some of the most successful films of the era.

"Oh, Home and Away and Neighbours, I definitely would get home from school and watch them. I'm a massive fan of programmes like that,” Jill said.

“I still watch Coronation Street, Emmerdale, EastEnders, and Home and Away and Neighbours were always on the telly. 

“I guess they were probably my first experience of Australia really!"

She continued: "And Peter Andre, I was a big fan of his and obviously that's always my initiation song, 'Mysterious Girl'. 

“When I left the jungle, he invited me to go to his concert and do the rap on stage. So, I'm still holding him to that!”

The 1990s and early 2000s were also a time when Australian footballers truly made their mark on the English game.

From Mark Bosnich and Mark Schwarzer at one end of the pitch, to Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Tim Cahill at the other end, the Premier League helped make a host of Australian footballers household names.

Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka are two of the most successful Australian football players of all time
Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka are two of the most successful Australian football players of all time

Jill said: “I tell you who else I used to like in a football sense, Harry Kewell. I used to love him as a player. And Tim Cahill as well. 

“That's the thing about footballers, they might not have produced absolutely loads but you really remember the Australian players, those players like Kewell, Cahill, Mark Viduka and others.

“That was like my era of the Premier League. I loved that time of my childhood. It goes to show how much of an influence these players that come to play in the Premier League had. 

“It does open young people up to the rest of the world in a way because when you watch the World Cups and Women's World Cups, young girls now will be watching Sam Kerr play for Australia and be like, ‘oh, I know her from Women’s Super League.’.

“That’s what I love about football. It can open you up to this whole other world." 

Australian football players continue to have a big impact on the women’s game in England, with Jill’s career crossing paths with several of them before her retirement last summer.

And Jill believes Australia, who are co-hosts of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup alongside New Zealand, should be considered as one of the favourites for the tournament.

She said: “In my last year at City I got to play with Alanna Kennedy, who I think is a great player. I know she has signed a new deal at Man City, so I think she'll really come into her own in the next few years. 

“I played with Hayley Raso at Everton and then Man City. She is another great player, very fast. 

“They've got Ellie Carpenter who's also a threat down that wing and you've got Steph Catley who plays for Arsenal, and of course Sam Kerr. So it's players that you've played up against who you know are very talented.

“So I think they've got a good team and I think Australia have good team players.

“When people speak about the favourites for this tournament, obviously you've got England, you've got the USA, Germany, but I think Australia with that home support as well, I don't think we can write them off.”

Jill played with and against New Zealand star Betsy Hassett during her playing career
Jill played with and against New Zealand star Betsy Hassett during her playing career

And whilst there are fewer recognisable names in the New Zealand squad for the Women’s World Cup compared to their co-hosts, one of them left a real mark on Jill and her career.

She explained: “When I first moved to Manchester City, I remember I've always been quite laid back and they said, ‘oh, we're going to put you in with another player, do you mind who it is?’ And I was like, ‘oh no, I don't mind’. 

“So I just moved from Liverpool to Manchester, moved into this apartment and was actually with Betsy Hassett, who played for Manchester City for about four years. 

“I learned a lot from her. She was super fit. I remember I thought I was fit and then we did the bleep test and I think she completed it.

“She would teach us about their culture and she was always doing yoga and looking after herself. 

“I always thought one day I'll get to New Zealand but don't think this trip will present us with that opportunity. But I know a few of the girls that are going out and doing presenting are actually based out there.

“I think it is great for the women's game the World Cup is going to be in Australia and New Zealand.”

Jill Scott and Kyle Walker will be presenting the first episode of Lionesses: Down Under connected by EE on Wednesday and you can watch it live on YouTube and via

Kyle Walker and Jill Scott

'We want everyone to feel together'