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Reality TV Interview

Nigel Havers ('I'm A Celebrity')

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Nigel Havers from I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! Season 10

ITV

After enduring ten days in the jungle, Nigel Havers dramatically quit I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! on Monday. The former Coronation Street star made a shocking departure from the celebrity camp and is the first jungle casualty of this year’s show. We caught up with the actor before he boarded his plane back to Britain to find out exactly what he thinks of the show and his fellow contestants.

How do you feel, Nigel?
"I've never felt so unclean in all my life, but I'm A Celebrity was an experience I will never forget. I'm amazed by the whole thing. It was an extraordinary experience to go through. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, I can promise you that I will never do anything like this again."

What's the biggest misconception about the jungle show?
"I had no idea how tough it was going to be. On television, I don't think you see how hard it is. You don't even see 1% of the difficulty. I felt that if I went on any longer, I would lose the will to live. I turned into such a grumpy old man."

What would you be doing now if you were still in the celebrity camp?
"I probably would have decked Lembit by now if I was still in there. I think I would've smashed him to smithereens! I've lost a stone in weight and I think I've gone slightly mad."

Were you constantly on edge in the jungle?
"You live in a state of anxiety all of the time in there. The day we went to collect Dom and Jenny in the helicopter, Shaun and I thought something awful was going to happen because you live in a state of anxiety all the time - and that’s the point of the jungle. We didn't believe it was going to be a simple helicopter ride. We thought we were going to be dropped into a tank of sharks or something."

What was the toughest aspect of jungle life?
"A couple of weeks at home goes very quickly. A couple of weeks in the jungle goes at a snail's pace. It was extremely tough in there. It became endless. Every day was like a year and I couldn't talk any small talk anymore. I couldn't handle the inane constant conversation."

What do you think of your fellow campmates, like Lembit Opik?
"I think he's got the mental age of 7. The guy is completely insane. I cannot for one second imagine how he could be a member of parliament for 13 years. He thinks he's going to be the mayor of London at the moment. Ha!"

Why did he annoy you so much?
"I nearly killed him one day. We only had two knives in the camp: one was big and one was small. He was whittling a piece of wood and I shouted at him, 'Don't do that'. He said to me, 'What do you mean?' I said to him, 'You’re blunting the f**king knives'. That’s one of the reasons I thought I should go because I would've killed him."

You became very close to Shaun Ryder in the camp. What do you two have in common?
"We have absolutely nothing in common, but I think he's such a great character and a great guy. I'm really, really glad I've met him. He wants me to go on tour with him, so I'm going on the rock bus. I can't wait."

Why did you get on with him so well?
"By a quirk of fate - and these are the things that make this programme so unique - you find that people bond. That's what happened with Shaun and I. There was something special about the two of us and I know we're going to be great friends outside the jungle. I'm going to go to one of his concerts and I'm going to hang out on the tour bus for a bit. And I'm going to drag him to the theatre to see me."

What was it like living in the camp with Gillian?
"It was lovely. She was lovely to me. She was fine. She was charming to me and I never had a bad time with her."

Did she really faint during the live trial?
"I haven't seen such a good faint since in rep at Sheringham many years ago. It was the hand that did it for me. I also saw her hand move away the flies while she was fainting. It was very good."

Were you tempted to stay when you saw Kayla in her bikini?
"No. You've got to get through the voice to start with."

What do you say to your fans who feel let down that you left the jungle so soon?
"I'm sorry. It was either that or my wife would divorce me, so I chose the easier option. I hadn't eaten for 11 days. I lost a stone. I was going to die in there."

Are you pleased to be back in the real world?
"It feels fantastic to be out. I went straight to the hotel and I had a shower that lasted four hours. I know that's not environmentally friendly, but I can still smell the smoke from the camp. It's appalling. It never goes. You can't get rid of it."

You showered naked in the jungle. Did you realise the cameras were catching you in the nuddy?
"I forgot that the cameras were on the shower. They only caught me once. I didn't do it again."

Are you happy that you quit the jungle?
"I am. I have absolutely no qualms about leaving. I think the show is phenomenal. It's amazing and I wouldn't have missed the experience for the world."

Who do you want to be king or queen of the jungle?
"I want Shaun to win, but I don’t think he will. I think he wants to be out right now. I feel that he wants to be in Jungle Jail so that he can be voted the first out."

I'm A Celebrity continues on Thursday at 8pm on ITV1

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