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Vernon Kay says his wife Tess Daly encouraged him to join I’m A Celebrity

Vernon Kay is appearing on this year’s I’m A Celebrity, which is being filmed in Wales (ITV)
Vernon Kay is appearing on this year’s I’m A Celebrity, which is being filmed in Wales (ITV)

Vernon Kay has said he was encouraged to take part in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! by his wife Tess Daly.

He said she is “100% behind me” ahead of the ITV programme’s launch.

The new series gets under way on Sunday.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2019 – Arrivals – London
Vernon Kay and wife Tess Daly (Ian West/PA)

Kay said that Daly “encouraged me to do it”.

“She was like, ‘Just go in there and do it, have fun.”

Kay, 46, said that after media reports linked him with the programme, he was contacted by fellow television presenter Paddy McGuinness.

He said McGuinness “wished me good luck and he said, ‘Go on sunshine, lots of love, I’m going to be voting every night and I’m going to spend every pound I have making sure you eat the sheep’s knackers”.

Kay said he has been asked “for several years” to take part in I’m A Celebrity.

“The deal was on the table last year and year before, but I had work commitments,” he added.

“I think 2020 has not been the best year, and that’s a massive understatement, and I just thought the timing was right, be it Wales or Australia, for me to give it a go.”

He added that his children “always watch” the programme.

When asked how he would cope with not hosting the programme, he said: “It is easy, it is brilliant, because I don’t have to do anything.

“I just get in there and do what they tell you, simple as that.”

Kay, who has hosted coverage of Formula E motor racing, also said he thinks sports presenting is more difficult than some of his previous jobs.

“I think standing on a shiny floor reading the autocue, in my opinion now, with everything I have done with sport, I think that’s getting away with it.”

Kay also revealed he has been isolating at a farmhouse ahead of the launch of the programme, which is being filmed in Wales rather than its usual location in Australia due to coronavirus restrictions.

Runner Sir Mo Farah, journalist Victoria Derbyshire and actor Shane Richie are among those taking part in the upcoming series.

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