Jeff Stelling ‘nearly got into I’m A Celeb Jungle but didn’t make final cut’

Soccer Saturday’s Jeff Stelling has revealed he was in talks to go into the I’m A Celebrity jungle ­– but didn’t get the result he wanted.

The telly host said he was on the shortlist for last year’s series of the hit ITV show.

He was interviewed but failed to make the final cut, losing out to ­ex-Arsenal ace Ian Wright.

Jeff, 65, said he it is still a huge fan of the show, and hinted that he could be in line for this year’s run – to be held at a castle in Wales.

He said: “One…show I would love to take part in – like many ­other people – is I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

“I am a bit afraid of heights, not a very good swimmer, a picky eater and not fond of snakes, so I would be ideal for the public to torture in Bushtucker trials.

“In 2019, I got an interview which I felt went pretty well. I knew I was in the final 40 or so (because they only interview 40 or so!).”

Jeff’s hopes were high, as I’m A Celeb normally features one football-related contestant.

However, he added: “But when I heard the rumours that Ian Wright was on the shortlist, I feared the worst. The show wasn’t going to have two people from the football world, albeit at opposite ends of the spectrum, on the same series.

“Still, they do like to have at least one contestant from the older generation – Stanley Johnson was 77 – so perhaps time is still on my side!”

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The former Countdown presenter revealed in his new book I’ve Got Mail that he has turned down offers to appear on a string of
other celebrity-themed TV programmes, including Pointless and Celebrity Mastermind.

He said: “Most of them I have turned down on the basis of not wanting to make an idiot of myself. Many years ago, I did beat Steve Ryder to win a sports presenters’ version of The Weakest Link but that was a bit of a fluke – I got easy questions in the final, he got impossible ones."

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