ONE of the North East’s oldest residents is preparing to lead a team of firefighters in an I’m a Celebrity-style bushtucker trial.

Addison Court Nursing Home, at Crawcrook, is holding the challenge – a key ingredient in ITV’s I’m a Celebrity …Get Me Out of Here – on Saturday 22 July, to raise funds for residents’ outings and entertainment.

And 105-year-old Ivy Smailes and her four-strong team from Swalwell Fire Station will be competing against four other teams, made up of care home staff and family members.

Ivy – who won’t be taking part in the challenge herself – picked her team after they made a special appearance at her 105th birthday party at the home last summer.

To clinch victory in the challenge the teams will go head to head in four rounds – including a blindfold round – during which they will have to eat a variety of delicacies, including sheep’s testicles, cow’s lips, crickets and locusts.

Also heading a team is 92-year-old Addison Court resident Lilian Ford, while others will be led by staff and managers at the 62-bedroom home, which is owned by Prestwick Care, a division of Newcastle-based Malhotra Group plc.

The Bushtucker Trial has been organised by Deb Carter, lead activities coordinator at Addison Court, who said, despite the dishes being served, she had no shortage of willing participants.

“I don’t think they realise what they are letting themselves in for, though,” she said. “We’re sourcing all the strange ingredients from our local butcher and our chefs have been very busy working out the best way to prepare and serve them.

“It all sounds pretty disgusting but it’s a great cause and all the money we raise from sponsorship will go to providing days out and arts and crafts materials and so forth for the residents.

“The winning team will also receive a prize – a voucher for Scalini’s Italian restaurant, at Osborne Road, Jesmond,” she added, “which should leave them with a far nicer taste in their mouths.”