Vernon Kay says Ant and Dec warned him not to do ‘horrific’ I’m A Celeb in previous years

I’m A Celeb: Tess Daly admits she’s worrying about Vernon Kay

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Vernon Kay, who finished in third place on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! 2020, has admitted he was advised not to take part in the ITV reality show in previous years by its hosts Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly, both 45. The star, who is married to fellow TV host Tess Daly, revealed his friendship with Ant and Dec meant that he had inside knowledge into the gruesome challenges he could face during the course of the show.

Vernon explained the programme’s presenters had been honest with him about all the “cockroaches and horrific things” he would have to deal with and warned him not to sign up for the past 10 years.

When quizzed on if he had any idea how hard the show would be, he divulged: “I knew because I’m quite good friends with Ant and Dec.

“We play golf on a regular basis. 

“In previous years they’ve said, ‘Oh, it’s horrific, you don’t want to do what they’re doing mate’.”

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Vernon explained he had been asked by I’m A Celeb producers to join the show in the past, but had turned it down for “three or four” years before 2020.

Fortunately, when Vernon finally decided to brave the show last year, Ant and Dec said they were happy for him.

The dad-of-two recalled: “I phoned Dec and he said, ‘Just go in and enjoy it. You know what’s coming, there’s cockroaches, there’s horrific things, but just go in and embrace it and try to enjoy it’.”

While reflecting on his experience in the castle, Vernon said: “I’m quite competitive. 


“I don’t like walking away from a task or a challenge and feeling like I’ve not given 100 per cent and that’s the attitude I went in there with.”

He also explained he was initially more worried about who his campmates would be while speaking on the Sweat, Snot & Tears podcast: “My main concern was the casting. 

“I didn’t want any arguing or conflict or someone who was in there to create that environment or was a ‘look at me, look at me’ type person, in there for more Instagram followers.

“I wanted serenity.. and I guess I got it! Twelve people getting along so it would feel like us V the castle, and thankful that’s what we got.”

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The former Family Fortunes host added: “We had some good debates, we had some really good, open conversations about everything.”

Despite his warning from Ant and Dec, Vernon revealed: “I loved it, honestly if they phoned me up tomorrow and said ‘we’ve got this I’m A Celebrity spin off’ I’d be off to Wales tomorrow.”

The most recent series of I’m A Celebrity was a hit with viewers after the show was forced to relocate to Wales, rather than travelling to Australia, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ITV are reportedly planning to use Gwrych Castle for the 2021 series, if the show can’t return to Australia. 

Meanwhile, Vernon’s wife Tess previously admitted she found it odd when she heard Vernon mentioning her and their two daughters, Phoebe and Amber, while he was in the castle.

When quizzed on whether it was weird to hear her other half talking about her on TV, she said: “Yes, it was! 

“I’d been barely sleeping because I was so into it, I woke up dreaming that I was doing trials.

“I’ve laughed, cried and heaved with them.”


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