Dastyari, once considered a rising star of the Labor movement, insisted he was shocked by the invitation to join the show.
“People who are cast for the show are often at junctions in their careers – athletes or soap stars – on what they do next, but I’m a very different place to them because I’ve have had to accept that the downfall of my career was entirely my own doing,” he said.
“There is no resurrection, no rebranding, no comeback, second or third act from all of this. I am not looking for a return to politics.”
While Dastyari remains unflinchingly loyal to the Labor movement, believing Bill Shorten is a virtual shoo-in for the prime ministership in 2019, his sudden departure from the party has clearly left scars – all self-inflicted.
“I’m not looking for forgiveness or acceptance from the Australian public, I just want to spend a day not hating myself so much,” he said earnestly.
While it might not be a political career he hopes to resurrect, his professional future remains uncertain.
“I don’t know what my future holds or what I’ll be doing when I leave the jungle. If I had prospects I probably wouldn’t be spending the next few weeks in the South African national park without a phone,” he laughs.
In September of 2016, Mr Dastyari resigned as Labor’s manager of opposition business and consumer affairs spokesman after it was revealed he asked a donor with links to the Chinese Communist Party to cover a travel bill in excess of $1600.
In late 2017, the Herald revaled Mr Dastyari had offered compromising information to a Chinese developer and he retired from Parliament all together.
During their stint in the jungle contestents are isolated from the outside world as they compete for $100,000 to be donated to a charity of their choosing, in addition to being personally reimbursed for their participation.
Taking part in daily trials to earn food, testing both physical and mental abilities often becoming overwhelmed by their situation.
The full cast will be revealed when the show premieres this Sunday, January 13 on Network 10.
Lucy Manly is a reporter and gossip columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun-Herald.