I’m A Celeb star Jacqui Lambie drops C-bomb in blow-up
Exclusive: She's about to swing her way into the African jungle on Ten's I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! but rogue senator Jacqui Lambie has already got the claws out for her old foes in Canberra - unleashing on everyone from former PM Malcolm Turnbull, the "f**king c**t" who took her place in parliament, even God.
Using the reality show to campaign and connect with young voters, the rebel Tasmanian will face off against her former senate rival and Labor powerbroker, Sam Dastyari on the survivor style series, which premieres tonight.
Speaking exclusively to News Corp Australia she said the only reason she would only bail out of the show was if the Morrison Government calls a snap poll - desperate as she is to reclaim her senate seat after the High Court ruled her father's Scottish heritage made her a dual citizen and her election in 2016 ineligible.
The 47-year-old independent may have Botox-ed up before heading on her TV adventure, but she's lost none of her wild streak - calling former PM Turnbull a "coward" for not standing up to his party before the leadership spill, while exploding with rage at his one-time deputy Julie Bishop over her bullying stance which Lambie said was too little, too late for other women in politics.
An angry Lambie said Bishop "wouldn't have been overlooked for the leadership had she mentioned [the bullying] years ago.
"I left the Liberal Party and made it quite clear it was a boys' club, so how come I was the only one with the guts six years ago? She's been up there for ages, so I just find it … women like that don't have my respect.
"Where was Julie Bishop six, seven, 10 years ago? What has she been doing about it? I've got no time of day for them when they talk this women's lib stuff because they're shameful. Actions speak louder than words," Lambie said.
A self-confessed "wrecking ball" in her first year in politics, before quitting the Palmer United Party, Lambie qualified her praise for new cross-bencher Julia Banks who "got up and left and good on her."
"She could have shown a little bit more back bone and named and shamed" the male MPs Banks accused of bullying her for support during the last Libspill.
"You know, finish the bloody job. This is what makes women look weak … when you start something, you get up and leave and you name and shame and get on with it."
Banks also has more to do to prove herself in parliament or get re-elected without major party support, Lambie said.
"I'll tell Julia this … it's not that bloody easy. She certainly doesn't have the face recognition like I do, so good luck to her in Victoria."
Turning her ire on the men of Australian politics, she said Tony Abbott had to be knifed as PM, arguing his "horror budget of 2013, if he'd have rolled that out, him and Joe Hockey, with their cigars in tow, I tell you what it would have done to the people of Tasmania? It would have finished them off."
Turnbull offered hope, she said, "but I said, 'if he can't grow a spine and stand up to his own men, he's not going to last' and that's exactly what happened."
As for Barnaby Joyce, Lambie - an ex-Army soldier and veterans advocate - was scathing after his call to allow wives and girlfriends to work as staffers which would clear the way for him to hire the mother of his child, Vikki Campion.
"When Barnaby Joyce says your wife should be able to work in [Canberra], I say 'you selfish bastard.' I"ve got soldiers over there, who've spent five or six years in a war zone. Their wives don't know if they're coming back so how about you just do the right thing and leave your f**king thing in your pants, that'd work," she railed.
Lambie has been campaigning full-time since leaving politics in 2017, driving all over the isle state and setting up shop on "the side of the road or in bakeries" listening to local voters disgruntled with Canberra.
She is confident of winning her senate role back from former Jacqui Lambie Network cohort, Steve Martin, who was second on the JLN ticket and inherited her seat by default when she was disqualified.
Still seething at him for refusing to stand aside to allow her to return, she growled: "I don't like mentioning his name, but you could have stepped aside, you f**king c**t and I'm coming back for my seat. No bloke is Jacqui Lambie's seat, right? You blokes try and do me over and I'm not putting up with it."
While she has channelled her anger into pounding the pavement, her former truck driver dad, Tom, has "suffered" - blaming himself for derailing his daughter's promising career after she'd turned her life around, since attempting suicide in 2009.
"I think when your father's waking up to you and you've just tried to take your life, walking out in front of a car and then you turn your life around and make it into the Senate and then it's [his] Scottish heritage that takes it all away, that's going to have a massive impact on my dad."
Her battle with depression and a back injury sustained in service inspired both her political and reality TV ambitions, she said - with plans to raise money on the show for Team Rubicon, which redeploys the skills of ex-servicemen to disaster relief operations.
"These kids watching need to know that life is bloody tough. There are lot of people out there with depression who have lost hope. Even watching shitty shows like that reality stuff, I used to watch that you know, to get that uplift … just hearing someone else's story."
Surprisingly, she has also found comfort in faith, "finding something" even if she's not a regular churchgoer.
"If I want to abuse God, I can f*cking do it wherever I am, I'll tell you that right now … that's how it works with me. I've already booked my table [in heaven], I'm ready to go. I want to sit across the table and as soon as I get up there, I want a few words with God. I've got a lot to say," she said, redundantly.
If there's one slogan that fits Lambie - both in politics and as the star recruit to Ten's new reality series it would be, 'expect the unexpected.'
Take her choice of music to play during TV GUIDE's exclusive cover shoot, where she emerged a vision in tuille, as if ready for a scene straight out of Sex And The City.
While she revealed her secret love of frocking up on her first appearance of Annabel Crabb's Kitchen Cabinet, she's no Carrie Bradshaw she says - more like sex siren and go-getter, Samantha Jones: "cos I can be a right b*tch."
No '80s supermodel anthems, a la Duran Duran's Girls On Film, as suggested for her; rather the more rough and ready, George Thoroughgood rock hit, Bad To The Bone.
While our glam squad puts the final touches to her custom gown and stylish makeover, Lambie takes every chance she can get to show off her cheeky side, joking: "won't this give Julie Bishop a run for her red shoes?"
It's that no-filter personality which saw the now 47-year-old first blaze her way into Federal politics back in 2013, and just as controversially, flame out again four years later - a shock victim of the dual citizenship saga.
Much to her Scottish-born father's dismay, it was his ancestry which cost the self-confessed "daddy's princess" her high-profile position - when the High Court would rule her election invalid.
The scandal would take a huge toll on her former truck driver dad, but reignite a new fire in his daughter's belly to win back her seat representing Tasmania and make him proud again.
She's long been a fighter, serving 11 years in the Australian Army, before waging war on the Department of Veterans' Affairs, who would try to deny her claims related to a back injury sustained during her time in service.
Her legal battle would take more than six years before she would finally be compensated for her pain and suffering, but not before a 2009 suicide attempt, when Lambie walked in front of a car in a bid to end it all.
So losing her Senate seat, she argues, "is nothing I can't handle."
"Okay, so I found out I was dual citizen, I had no idea … you deal with it," Lambie states bluntly, "because my life will never be as bad as what it was leading up to me walking out in front of a car.
"Being able to have that second chance at life and making it into the Senate," she adds, "you've got to look on the bright side."
Dropping f bombs as she recounts her own redemption tale, she says: "the most amazing thing is, the day I won my seat, it was only two years before that I spent my last day in a psych unit. So when they say they're nuts up there in f*cking Canberra, you're not wrong! I belong up there, I feel very ease up there, baby," she laughs, clapping her hands.
The single mum doesn't expect her adult sons, Brentyn, 27 and Dylan, 24, to watch but can count on family support.
"Dylan will be working and Brent will be overseas so it will be dad there watching it, having his beers of a night time and a laugh. And mum will be sitting there going, 'I wish she'd stop swearing,' Lambie chuckles.
And just as she took prisoners in parliament, she has warned her celebrity rivals she has no time for diva antics.
"I don't have a problem participating, as long as everyone is having a go. It's when you can see they're being precious, that really annoys me. They probably need a boot up their arse," she says, confirming "they'll get plenty of that from me in the jungle … I'll be breaking it right down."
I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! premieres tonight at 7.30pm on Ten.