Date of birth: 6th November 1951
Phobias: None, but I am sure I will find out if I do!
Missing any special occasion: Yes his stepfather’s 101st birthday
Relationship status: Married
Nigel Havers may be renowned for playing charming, smooth-talking characters on TV, but one woman who definitely is not happy he’s going into the jungle is his wife.
The actor – who has just starred as escort agency cad Lewis in Coronation Street – admits his wife, Georgina, is so furious he has signed up for this year’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! she is going on holiday to Africa to escape!
He says: “My wife is furious I am doing it. She said ‘I might not be back when you come out’. She did everything she could to dissuade me not to do it.
“She can’t believe I am that stupid. She thinks actors are pretty stupid. We just don’t talk about it.
“She is going to Africa when this is happening.”
So given his own wife doesn’t want him to go and he is one of the country’s most prolific TV actors, starring in everything from Chariots of Fire, Don’t Wait Up and Brothers and Sisters to the Weatherfield cobbled streets, why on earth has Nigel decided to take part?
“This is the end of a crazy year for me,” he says laughing. “Nobody like me has ever done it before and it strangely appealed to me. It is a challenge and it will surprise people. I have just finished doing Coronation Street, which I loved and now I am doing this. I thought I would do a year of surprising people before I go back to doing straight theatre.”
And with work already lined up for next year, Nigel definitely won’t be using the jungle to audition for other parts. “I am not looking for work,” he stresses. “I have got work lined up and I am just looking for an experience.
“While I am in the jungle, I am planning to plot out an idea for a novel I have. I am also doing a synopsis for a new drama series and I will mull that over too.”
The charming star admits he is dreading the “lack of fresh sheets” in the jungle and sees his role in the camp as a cook and a cleaner – something he is obsessed with.
Nigel explains: “I am a good cook, but it does depend on what we get given to cook. I think beans and rice might get boring after a while! I will miss things like coffee, but I don’t mind not having a phone. I have lived my life for years without having a phone.
“I do like cleaning and tidying up – and so I am sure I will tidy the camp up!”
Describing himself as “easy going”, he doesn’t think he will be causing any arguments over the campfire. “My wife would say I am far too easy going, a guy. I don’t think I will get too shouty,” he says. “I am very placid.”
But the actor admits he would like to talk ‘politics’ with his fellow campers adding, “I would like to educate a few people and bring that into the conversation.
“People might say ‘I don’t know anything about that’ and I will think ‘well I will see what I can teach you’. Politics does interest me. I am hoping there will be someone in there who does too, so I can talk about it for hours.”
Is Nigel worried about having to be himself in the jungle rather than hiding behind the guise of a character? No way, comes the response. “I have been playing myself for years,” he chuckles.
The actor is disappointed, however, he will be missing his stepfather’s 101st birthday.
“It’s my stepfather’s 101st birthday which I will miss. I can’t be there for that,” he adds.
Although Nigel hasn’t done anything out of the ordinary to prepare for the jungle, he is very much looking forward to the new experience. “I do like meeting new people,” he says. “All actors love a gossip and I don’t think I will have any trouble with that. It’s been quite a year.”
And given his wife is unhappy about his decision to take part, Nigel reveals the first thing he will be doing after he leaves the jungle is to take her on holiday. “I will be taking my wife on a lovely holiday,” he adds. “I am going to take her to India. I have never been to India with her. I have promised her that’s the pay off.”