Sir Mo Farah confirmed for I’m A Celebrity: ‘It’s so out of my comfort zone’
Sir Mo Farah, Victoria Derbyshire and Shane Richie are among the stars taking part in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!
The line-up was confirmed during a special programme before the first episode of the series next week.
The new series, hosted by Ant and Dec, will take place at Gwrych Castle in Wales rather than the usual location in the Australian jungle, due to coronavirus restrictions.
Also confirmed for the line-up are former Strictly Come Dancing professional AJ Pritchard, broadcaster Vernon Kay and Paralympian Hollie Arnold, as well as BBC Radio 1 DJ Jordan North, Coronation Street star Beverley Callard, podcast host Giovanna Fletcher and EastEnders actress Jessica Plummer.
Sir Mo, 37, the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, said he hopes to show the viewing public a different side of him, away from running.
He said: “I’ve watched it on telly and thought to myself I would like to challenge myself and see what I can do – and so that is the whole reason behind it.
“I know a lot of people will be surprised as they don’t see me in that way. They associate me with running and winning but nothing other than that.
“And my kids have been on at me too, saying ‘I can’t see you doing that dad’, but I want to give it a go, I want to have fun in the camp.”
He added: “I am excited and it’s definitely sinking in now.
“It’s so out of my comfort zone, but I just want to go in there and be myself. I am most looking forward to meeting different people, getting challenges thrown at you and working as a team.”
BBC broadcaster Derbyshire, 52, who announced in August 2015 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would be having a mastectomy, said it was beating the illness that inspired her to go on the show.
She said: “This is a mad thrill adventure that I want to take part in. Because of cancer I know, more than lots of people, life is short.
“I am now saying ‘yes’ to stuff I wouldn’t have done previously. And if I don’t do my boys proud, I will never live it down.
“They really, really want me to do it and they have kept it a secret for months now because they want me to do it so much.
“They do think it is cool I am doing it because this is their programme of the year.
“My husband is also so happy I am doing it. He thinks I will love it, throw myself into it and he said if it makes me happy, he is happy. They are on the journey with me.”
Soap star Richie, 56, best known for playing Alfie Moon in EastEnders, said taking part in the ITV show reminds him of the risk he took when he joined the soap.
He said: “When I first got asked to be in EastEnders in 2002 to play Alfie, I didn’t know what was going to happen.
“There is something about adrenaline and fear and that’s what I am looking forward to when I take part in this show.
“You aren’t going to know what to expect because we are now going to North Wales, where sitting around a roaring fire is going to be more important than any other year because it will be cold and dark.”
Meanwhile Pritchard, 26, who had been confirmed to take part in the current series of Strictly Come Dancing before he announced his departure from the programme in March, said he was excited to take part in an “even better show”.
He said: “Doing I’m A Celebrity is a childhood dream come true, I was so excited to watch the return of Strictly this autumn but now I am going to be on an even better show. I can’t wait.
“I think my friends from Strictly like Neil (Jones) and Janette (Manrara) are going to watch, which is really nice.
“They have always known how much I have wanted to do this programme as I have talked about it all the time.
“When I walk into the camp for the first time, I will be like the
kid in the candy shop.
“People see me on Strictly with fake tan and sparkles, but nobody knows me. It will be nice for people to see me and get to know who I am.”
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! starts on ITV on November 15.