Neon Jungle: when was I’m A Celebrity contestant Jessica Plummer in the girl band, who were the members and what songs did they have?

‘Braveheart’ and ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ are two of the hit tracks the pop group was known for

By Chelsea Rocks
Monday, 16th November 2020, 3:37 pm

Jessica Plummer joined her fellow I’m A Celebrity contestants at Grych Castle for the opening episode of the reality show’s 20th series.

Airing on ITV on 15 November, the episode saw campmates tasked with their first terrifying challenge, with Plummer claiming she could “potentially be the most scared person in there”.

But while she was introducing herself for the show, fans were surprised to learn that the actress who played Chantelle Atkins in EastEnders, was also previously a pop star in girl band, Neon Jungle.

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Jess was in a girl band before acting in Eastenders

Here’s what you need to know about the group - including its members and its greatest hits.

When was Jessica Plummer in Neon Jungle?

Jess was a singer in British girl group Neon Jungle, a four-member band which was formed in 2013, and broke up in 2015.

Who were the members of the group?

The four band members were Shereen Cutkelvi, Amira McCarth, Jessica Plummer and Asami Zdrenka.

The girls were scouted in late 2012, and it’s believed that Plummer and McCarth were found while shopping separately in London.

Meanwhile, Zdrenka and Cutkelvi where scouted through their individual YouTube channels.

Why was the group called ‘Neon Jungle’?

The name of the band was revealed after the girls began recording, with hit song ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ the driving force behind it.

Plummer told Planetnotion that the name came about as: “It’s like neon is bold, bright, strong individual characters and then the jungle part is the madness", adding that the members were “all individual and quite different.”

Did they have any success?

The girls were signed by RCA record and managed by David Cooper. They released their album ‘Welcome to the Jungle’, under Sony Productions which peaked at number eight on the UK album charts in July 2014.

The group also performed Trouble at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York in 2013 alongside international sensation, Taylor Swift.

Unfortunately, following the success of their album in 2014, the band were dropped by RCA Record in May 2015.

Although they sought a new management company and continued working together for some months, the girl band revealed on their social media pages that they had split the following July.

What songs are they best known for?

The band are best known for their UK number four single ‘Braveheart’, as well as UK number seven single ‘Welcome to the Jungle’.

The quartet also had top 20 hits, ‘Trouble’ and ‘Louder’ which debuted at number 12 and 14 respectively.

Welcome to the Jungle received recognition from across the UK music scene as the band described the floor filler to Pop Justice as "a sexy, fun feel-good song with a more mature sound" than their previous hit ‘Braveheart’.

However, ‘Braveheart’ remained the band’s biggest hit, selling over 200,000 copies and breaking Neon Jungle into the global music scene as it reached the top 20 in Australia and Ireland.

What did Jessica Plummer do next?

In the year that followed the band’s split, Jess gave birth to her daughter Noa in July 2016.

The 24-year-old is now more commonly known for her role in BBC soap opera, Eastenders.

Cast in 2019, she played the role of Chantelle Atkins who suffered domestic abuse at the hands of on-screen husband Gray Atkins.

In September, Plummer’s character Chantelle was murdered as the BBC soap reflected on the impact lockdown has had on some victims of domestic abuse.

Jess has been shortlisted for awards such as Best Newcomer and Best Actress by Inside Soap Awards.

Are the other band members still singers?

Shereen Cutkelvin, the youngest of the group at just 23, went on to appear on The X Factor with her two brothers, Kyle and Jay.

Branded ‘The Cutkelvins’, they were chosen by head judge Simon Cowell to feature in the 2017 Live shows, but bowed out in the semi finals.

Since then they have continued to release music and this month, Shereen and her brothers started their own ‘In black and white’ channel on Youtube.

Londoner Amira McCarthy, 24, is no longer in the public eye, despite commenting during her time in the band that she wanted to be a singer at a young age when she competed in a singing competition at her school, Westminster Academy.

However, she still appears to be living the celebrity lifestyle,and regularly posts fame-worthy selfies to her 31k followers on Instagram.

Japanese-British singer Asami Zdrenka, 25, continues to release music on her Youtube, where she entertains her 10.2k followers.

Otherwise, she can be found posting about her travels to her nearly 60,000 instagram fans.