Sam Thompson began the long journey home (Photo: Sam Thompson/ Instagram)

Sam Thompson is returning home after realizing his “dream.”

The Made In Chelsea star, 31, was crowned King of the Jungle on Sunday after a dramatic season of I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

Sam beat runners-up Tony Bellew and Nigel Farage, as well as Grace Dent and Jamie Lynn Spears, who quit the show early on, and a host of other celebrities who were eliminated as the pressure mounted.

And while best friend Pete Wicks was there to meet him on the bridge at the end, Sam's friends and family, including girlfriend Zara McDermott, are patiently waiting for him in England.

Now the new King of the Jungle is returning home and has shared an emotional message to everyone who supported him.

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, the reality TV star shared a photo from the airport and wrote 'I'M COMING HOME!!!'

Sam Thompson, I'm a celebrity

The star smiled as she prepared to catch her flight home (Photo: Sam Thompson/ Instagram)

Admitting that I didn't know where to start, I want to start by saying thank you.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, there are no words to describe how grateful I am for each and every one of you who supported me during my time in the wild.”

The self-declared I'm A Celeb megafan told fans they had 'made a little boy's dream come true… and I'll never forget it'.

Despite Sam seeming at ease in the jungle from the start, he revealed that he was 'nervous about whether I would look like an idiot as I know I'm a bit full of… I'd be lying if I didn't say I was nervous!

Sam won the title of King of the Jungle after a dramatic season of I'm A Celeb (Photo: ITV/Shutterstock)

He said meeting Ant and Dec and having “these iconic experiences that I always watched on TV made me so happy that I stopped worrying about it all”.

'I had no idea of ​​all the support, love and kindness you all have shown me, and reading some of your comments and messages, I am filled with gratitude!!! Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be crowned King of the Jungle, or that I would CYCLONE!

Sam Thompson, I'm a celebrity

He shared his gratitude for being part of the Cyclone and other 'iconic' moments (Photo: ITV/Shutterstock)

'Every time Ant and Dec walked into the camp I became convinced I would be next. There's no way people will actually vote for me. But each time I stayed another day, I felt more and more humbled and moved.

The genuinely loved I'm A Celeb contestant concluded: 'Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!!! I have more people to thank and a few more sentimental posts, but my first thank you had to be for all of you. I love you.'

Sam was flooded with support once again following his post, with Laura Whitmore and Jacqueline Jossa agreeing that he 'crushed it'.

Sam is now heading home, with girlfriend Zara encouraging him to 'tell that pulot to step on the gas': (Photo: Zara McDermott/Instagram)

Maya Jama posted a king crown emoji, as did Jeremy Lynch.

And girlfriend Zara wrote: 'PROUD DOESN'T EVEN CUT!!!! Now tell the pilot to step on the gas, please!

Although they haven't seen each other in person yet, Zara and Sam had a sweet FaceTime reunion moments after he won the crown.

She shared videos of a party she threw for her partner, including the moment the room erupted in applause when his name was announced as the winner.

And right at the end of the video came his virtual reunion with the star, both chatting excitedly while Sam was seen still jumping and cheering.

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