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Reality TV Interview

Shaun Ryder ('I'm A Celeb', 'XXX')

By
Shaun Ryder from I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! Season 10

© ITV

Hailed by the late, great Anthony H. Wilson as our generation's John Keats, banned from
Channel 4 for years after a sweary turn on TFI Friday and once seen on stage at Wembley Stadium singing his band's biggest hit in an awful Elvis voice, they certainly don't make 'em like Shaun William Ryder anymore. Stacey Solomon may have been crowned Queen and Dr Gillian McKeith PhD may have won most of the column inches, but the real star of this year's I'm A Celeb was the melon-twistin', hip-speakin' SWR. We caught up with him to talk about his time in the jungle and his long-awaited return to pop.

Were you surprised that you managed to last the whole three weeks? Johnny Lydon famously walked out early...
"Absolutely surprised. Johnny did what, five, six days? I was originally planning on doing a week and then walking. I am glad that I didn't, I'm glad that I stayed with it. I've been gong around saying it wasn't a life-changing experience, but when you think about it, it sort of is. My biggest problem that I thought I was going to face in there was socialising and having to be with people 24 hours a day and be polite or not be polite. I'm not really good at small talk or socialising. But I'm so glad that I stayed all the time I did, because I really, really, really did enjoy it!"

You had a few rows in there with Alison Hammond and Gillian McKeith - do you regret any of that?
"No, not at all. That's how it is. It's real - real arguments over things, that's how it is, isn't it? That's how life is really. Gillian is annoying, and arguments with Alison about cleaning your own s**t up like you do when you're a grown-up. So, no I don't regret having arguments, no."

McKeith got a lot of attention on the outside... do you think she was putting it on a lot?
"I think so, yeah, of course! But it's great television. Do I think she fainted? No, not at all. I don't think she did. I don't even think it was a panic attack. But Gillian, that's Gillian. Gillian's a fantastic blagger and not a very good liar! She's annoying, but I do like her."

You seemed happy to eat anything on the show, was there something you would have drawn the line at?
"No, basically all the stuff that's eaten is what the bush tucker the Aborigine guys eat when they're on walkabout, or the survivalists eat. They're not asking you to eat dog s**t 'cos you don't eat that! Dog poo I should say, now I'm not swearing. What you eat is what these people eat and I found it really interesting and I found some of the stuff really tasty, I'm not making that up!"

What stuff did you actually enjoy?
"The worms tasted really good, I thought they tasted like oysters. I thought the tarantula tasted great. I even enjoyed the eyeballs or the nuts, one of them..."

Would you be up for doing some more reality telly at some point?
"Again, I've been asked for longer than ten years to do these sort of things and I've always said no. I got offered Big Brother and I passed that on to Bez, because there was no need to do it. I was promoting stuff so that's why I did it. Now, for no reason than going on and doing some television, I won't do anything like that again. If I've got something else to promote and the show happens to be right then possibly."

Is it true that you're going to bring Nigel Havers out on tour with you?
"That's happening. Nige is definitely going to come to a few shows. He can come on the tour bus and have a beer. I didn't expect to go in that place and end up having some new friends and I have."

What happened to those plans of doing 'Fairytale of New York' with Stacey?
"You wouldn't touch a song like that usually, you just wouldn't touch it. It's a classic tune, right? But because it was Stacey, me and we'd just come out of the jungle. On the spur of the moment when you got asked you say 'Yeah', but it had to be done the day that we said yeah. And if it wasn't it's just not going to happen - so it's just not going to happen."

How did you choose what would be on your new best-of?
"On this one I did get to choose some of the songs - I didn't choose all of them. My missus chose some, I got some friends to choose some. I actually got to choose some! I know that there's been a couple of Mondays compilations that I didn't have owt to do with."

You've also got plans for a brand new album...
"It's done, it's ready. That's the whole reason I went in the jungle, because I've got two albums to promote. I've got the Shaun Ryder Greatest Hits and then in May the solo album comes out. And that's why I took a reality television job, because I had those two albums to promote."

Is it going to be like the Mondays stuff, Black Grape, or more like your first solo album?
"No, it's nothing like that. That first solo record... absolutely nothing like that. No. I've done this with Sunny Levine, who's produced it. Sunny and me really, really worked on the album. The songs, we took our time with them. What's it going to be like? I wouldn't like to say it's a cross between Black Grape and Mondays, it goes beyond that. I'm really proud of it, I'm really pleased with it. I think it's the best stuff we've done. I'd just rather you listened to it than me try to explain it."

What are your thoughts on your old labelmate Peter Hook opening up a club in Manchester and calling it The Factory?
"The thing is that no-one is getting these people and shoving their arms up their back and making them go to The Factory. No-one's getting these people and railroading them into the joint and making them listen to that music. They've all got their own free will and they go there and listen to that stuff because they like it. There's a market for it, and if anyone has a right to do that and to make money out of that then it's Hooky."

Shaun William Ryder XXX: 30 Years Of Bellyaching is out now.

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