Stokie dancer AJ Pritchard is among the famous faces confirmed for the hotly-anticipated new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
The former Strictly dancer may be swapping the glitzy ballroom for a Welsh castle but as a show super fan, he can’t wait to take part in what he describes as ‘the best programme on TV’.
And the 26-year-old admits he is looking forward to having a digital detox as he focuses on putting ‘110 per cent effort’’into winning as many stars as he can for his fellow camp mates.
AJ – who had been rumoured to have Covid-19 – will join other celebs including Shane Richie, Victoria Derbyshire and Sir Mo Farah.
“Doing I’m A Celebrity is a childhood dream come true,” explains AJ, who is originally from Sneyd Green and still has family in Stoke-on-Trent.
“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.”
Asked what he is most looking forward to and the professional dancer replies: “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 am unbelievably competitive and whatever the challenge is, I will go for it. I will give everything 110 per cent. I really appreciate life and I never take anything for granted. I will be trying to come back with all the stars every single time and if I don’t, I think I will be disappointed.”
AJ – whose decision to quit Strictly earlier this year was a big shock – does reveal, however, he could have issues with any trial that involves a coffin.
“Being trapped in a confined space will get to me for sure. And heights are not my friend too much either!
“But I am looking forward to a digital detox. It will definitely be a positive when you consider how much you work from your phone. My phone is attached to my hip 24/7!”
With his stage projects on hold thanks to Covid, AJ says he knows the harsh camp conditions will prove tough at times. “I think I will be hangry,” says the dancer when asked how he will feel eating rice and beans.
“And I do think I will get upset at some point. I don’t know why I will but I do know there will be a moment! It’s only natural.”
As for whether he’d like to be crowned ‘King of the Castle’ and it’s a resounding ‘yes’ especially as he never lifted the glitter ball trophy on Strictly.
Aside from taking part on the hit series, AJ also hopes it will lead to other TV opportunities.
“My push is to do more TV presenting with my brother, Curtis,” he explains.
“We’ve done things on Lorraine but we would love to have our own TV show together. He is so excited and he can’t wait for everyone to see me in there. We’ve got a podcast now and he will be talking about me on that too!”
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Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle:
People see me with sparkles and fake tan but nobody knows what I am like!
Role in the camp:
Keeping spirits up and the cleaner.
My warm and comfy bed!
Any celebrity with an intriguing background.
The full line-up for I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here 2020
The 10 celebrities who will enter the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here camp castle from next weekend have been officially named.
This year’s show has been transported from the jungles of Australia to a castle in North Wales in a bid to beat coronavirus restrictions.
The names of the celebs taking part in the year’s show have been unveiled during a special retrospective ITV program with Ant and Dec.
Filming will start at the end of this week and Ant and Dec will then host live show every night – with the usual mix of trials and tribulations.
I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here starts on Sunday night, November 15, at 9pm on ITV.
The ten celebrities entering camp are….
Age: 46 Famous for: TV host and husband of Tess Daly Biggest Misconception: Don’t have any Phobias: I don’t like being confined underwater Role in camp: Person to keep spirits up Bookmakers Ladbrokes odds to win: 6/1
Age: 56 Famous for: Actor and EastEnders star Biggest Misconception: Nothing. I don’t think I am that interesting. Phobias: Human faeces. I’m hoping the camp toilet will be enclosed. Role in camp: Person who will much in with anything Bookmakers odds to win: 5/2
Age: 52 Famous for: TV host and BBC news journalist Biggest Misconception: I don’t think I have any as people just know me as the news and current affairs person! Phobias: Not a fan of spiders or confined spaces. Role in camp: Shoulder to cry on. Bookmakers odds to win: 20/1Name
Hollie Arnold MBE
Age: 26 Famous for: Paralympic gold medalist Biggest Misconception: I don’t want it to focus on disability. Phobias: Spiders Role in camp: Cook/shoulder to cry on. Bookmakers odds to win: 10/1
Age: 30 Famous for: Radio 1 DJ Biggest Misconception: On radio I am bubbly and energetic but everyone has down moments. Phobias: I have so many phobias! Role in camp: Entertainer and the tidy up person – I love a tidy house. Bookmakers odds to win: 7/1
Age: 63 Famous for: Coronation Street icon Biggest Misconception: People think I am glamorous like Liz. Phobias: Ghosts and insects Role in camp: Cleaner Bookmakers odds to win: 25/1
Age: 26 Famous for: Former Strictly Come Dancing pro Biggest Misconception: People see me with sparkles and fake tan but don’t know what I am like. Phobias: Heights, claustrophobia Role in camp: Keeping spirits up and the cleaner. Bookmakers odds to win: 9/2
Age: 35 Famous for: Author and podcaster Biggest Misconception: I am not that controversial so nothing. Phobias: Heights Role in camp: Mum, friend and the giver of hugs Bookmakers odds to win: 4/1
Sir Mo Farah CBE
Age: 37 Famous for: Olympic legend Biggest Misconception: It will be nice for people to see me doing something other than running. Phobias: Any animal that moves. Role in camp: Cook Bookmakers odds to win: 5/1
Age: 28 Famous for: EastEnders star Biggest Misconception: It will be nice for people to see me for who I am rather than my EastEnders character. Phobias: Arachnophobia, fear of heights. Role in camp: Chatterbox and little sister. Bookmakers odds to win: 8/1