Everyone is gripped by this year’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here but TV presenter Vernon Kay has more of a vested interest than most as it turns out that Mike Tindall, 44, the former rugby player, who’s married to HRH The Princess Royal’s daughter Zara, 41, is one of his best mates.

“I love Mike Tindall, he’s a good friend of mine. We play a lot of golf together,” says Vernon. “I think he’s got the perfect personality, the perfect character to be successful on I’m a Celebrity because he’s a man’s man. He listens, he has his own opinions, but he likes to debate. He and Zara are absolutely brilliant. I think he’s a top bloke.”

So what advice would he give his pal, given that he’s been on the show himself and came third in the final?

“All you’ve got to do is be yourself,” he says. “If you go there trying to have a personality that isn’t naturally yours, if you go there thinking ‘I’m going to win this’, then your experience isn’t going to be as joyful as someone who just goes in there and says, ‘You know what, it’s me versus the jungle, I’m going to get on with everyone and be myself and have a really, really good time. I’m going to get covered in gunk, I’m going to meet a lot of creepy-crawlies and I’m going to eat part of an animal that I would never in a million years dream of putting in my mouth. If you just enjoy the experience, you’ve got a great chance.”

While guesting on the Victoria Derbyshire show recently, ahead of I’m A Celeb’s return, Vernon revealed that the show might not be all it seems when you watch at home.

"Trust me, it's not all its hyped up to be," he saod before he swiftly moved on.

When Vernon took part in 2020 the show's protocols were stricter than usual and all contestants had to self-isolate beforehand due to Covid-19. Because of travel restrictions it broadcast from Wales rather than the Australian Jungle and Vernon also told Victoria: "I have heard that they had [physical trials] lined up for us. But Covid prevented us from leaving the castle.

"It prevented us from going to another outdoor space that wasn’t under the strict Covid protocols we were.”

Despite the restrictions however the producers still managed to come up with plenty of stomach churning trials for the campmates. One of Vernon’s show highlights was the Celebrity Cyclone trial in which he dressed as a knight, catching fish guts inside a helmet, and munching through sheep brains, cow’s teat and deer testicles.

At the time he remarked that the brains “tasted like really bad pate” while the teat was akin to “mouldy cheese mixed with burnt tyre rubber”.

While that might have been grotesque his friend Mike Tindall’s first challenge was far more hair raising as he took part in the Scareground and his fans were not happy about it. The trial saw him being spun around in the Critter Carousel while tried to catch balls thrown by Lioness Jill Scott before he threw them on to Owen Warner. But of course this being I’m A Celeb there was a twist and Mike was covered in tree ants as he tried to complete the trial.

Prior to undertaking his first trial Mike had viewers in stitches with his stories including telling how he split his trousers in front of his mother-in-law HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. Mike has been married to her daughter since 2011 and the couple share share daughters Mia, eight, Lena, four, and son, Lucas, one, together.

And while he may have married into royalty we will have to wait until Sunday November 27th to see if Mike will become jungle royalty and be crowned King of the Jungle.

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