When Beverley Callard first heard of Jordan North, she thought: “Who the hell is this diva on top of the cliff who is holding everything up?”
Radio 1 presenter Jordan was halting production on I’m a Celebrity’s first ever series in a Welsh castle instead of the Australian jungle in 2020, and Corrie legend Bev wasn’t impressed.
Jordan was being sick due to being told he needed to abseil down a cliff on the very first episode of the show.
“I’d never met Jordan before then and the production team kept saying, ‘Oh sorry, another delay,'” explained Bev, who played Liz McDonald on the cobbles.
“Then eventually Jordan managed to get down the cliff and our eyes met. He’s got the warmest, dancing eyes and we just clicked instantly.”
Bev, 64, didn’t have a clue who Jordan was, but Jordan certainly knew Beverley from her time cavorting around in lycra in 1990s workout videos.
His pal William Hanson even revealed Jordan, 31, had looked up pictures of Bev in the tight clothing.
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Asked who he thought Jordan was closest to in the camp, which also included Vernon Kay and Giovanna Fletcher, William told OK!: “Definitely Beverley. There’s a maternal element. I know Wendy, his mum, she’s lovely.
“Beverley and Wendy are very different, but they’ve both got that northern charm and earthiness.”
Asked if Jordan might have a crush, William said: “Well yes, who knows?! She’s a lovely woman. I’ve got a crush. We’ve all Googled her in her Lycra!”
But what ensued was a tender friendship with a maternal element, as Bev consoled Jordan when he was voted to do several gruesome Bushtucker Trials, something he struggled with hugely at the start of the series.
“They want to see more of you, this is going to make you a f***ing megastar,” she encouraged him.
Jordan would later admit he and Bev “just clicked” as soon as they met.
“That only ever happens a few times in your life,” he said.
Someone who stole the show during the I’m a Celeb series without even being a campmate was Bev’s husband, Jon McEwan, who she described as “handsome”, “gorgeous” and a “megash*g”, breaking the internet and creating a Twitterstorm all the while believing the comment would never be aired.
Reflecting on the moment with hosts Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly after the series ended, Beverley admitted she “wanted to die” when she realised it had been broadcast.
Fans were obsessed with Jon, who appeared on Loose Women and he gushed about his love, revealing he was “so proud” of her for overcoming botched hip surgery in 2020 that left her unable to walk.
So loved up were they, Jon confessed he was secretly planning a vow renewal ceremony with her in Spain, having first tied the knot back in 2010.
“When she went through all the operations I thought to myself, ‘If she can do this…’, about three months ago, she couldn’t even walk properly,” he explained.
“I started planning [the vow renewal] then, I’m the fourth husband believe it or not and I thought, I can cement this deal and renew the vows. It’s almost there in the planning, Covid-19 permitting.”
He added: “I’ve never really understood why people renew their wedding vows, but I kind of do now. We’ve been through so much together, we should just reaffirm our love basically.”
And this sparked the idea for a brand new ITV show, Destination Wedding, as Bev enlisted Jordan’s help for planning the big day.
Jordan joined Beverley as they travelled more than 900 miles throughout Spain together, with hapless Jordan in control of the wheel and the map-reading.
Immersing themselves in local culture, the pals enjoyed everything from flamenco dancing to mud bathing, grape crushing to paella making, all the while picking up wedding essentials – including the dress, which Jordan chose.
“We had no idea beforehand but a true, traditional Spanish wedding dress is black,” Bev told What To Watch.
“Jordan chose this dress for me to try on and I looked like Morticia from the Addams family! I said to him, ‘If I’m trying on traditional outfits, you’ve got to try a Matador outfit’ so he did and absolutely loved it. He wanted to keep it.”
Fans will remember Jordan’s many phobias in the castle, all of which he coped with by facing them head on.
With this in mind, Bev continued Jordan’s development by taking him on thrill-seeking activities like flyboarding, zip-lining and paragliding.
The pair travelled through Northern Spain, Madrid, Toledo, Valencia and Benidorm before arriving in Mojacar, Almeria, where Beverley has a home – and it also happens to be just minutes from where Jordan’s parents now live.
“We talked for hours and hours, we laughed, we had DMCs – deep and meaningful conversations – we really poured our hearts out, but best of all, we had such a good laugh,” said Jordan.
A source told The Sun Bev and Jordan “both jumped at the chance” when they were offered the five-part programme, which airs on Wednesday evenings.
“In I’m A Celebrity, Bev and Jordan became really close. They have a very natural chemistry and get on really well,” said the insider.
“That relationship continued off screen and they are good mates, which makes this show even more likely to be a huge success because that friendship is very much the real deal.
“Jordan and Bev couldn’t be more excited about working together again and this show will promise not just good culture and amazing food – but a whole load of laughs.”
Bev gushed that the trip was “a truly wonderful adventure” and cemented their lifelong friendship.
So much so, they even decided to get matching tattoos.
They each got “disfruta el momento”, which means ‘enjoy the moment’, in Spanish, tattooed on their leg.
“It was my first ever tattoo – never ever again. I screamed, I cried, I moaned, I whinged,” shuddered Jordan.
“Beverley got hers and she’s like, ‘It’s fine.'”
Chuckling, Beverley added: “He was squeezing my hands and screwing his fingers into my hands.
“I said, ‘You’ve got to let go of me!’ and he started biting his own bicep.”
Speaking about their one-in-a-lifetime experience, Bev said: “On the road, we really felt like a double act, the experience and discovering so much about Spain that neither of us knew about.
“We laughed, we cried, we met amazing people and saw amazing breathtaking places which was a dream come true.
“All the while, discovering so much about each other, and for it to culminate in me getting to renew my vows to Jon, the love of my life, in a fabulous celebration organised by Jordan, well that really capped off the adventure of a lifetime.”
* Beverley and Jordan: Destination Wedding continues on Wednesday at 8pm on ITV
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