Date of birth: 23rd August 1962
Missing any special occasions? Yes touring with The Gorillaz
Phobias: Compressed water or compressed air.
Relationship status: Married
Former Happy Mondays’ lead singer Shaun Ryder can’t wait to try a crocodile and other weird bugs in the celebrity jungle.
But the outspoken star, who led a very rock n’ roll lifestyle in his heyday in the late eighties and early nineties before his public battle with drugs led to the break-up of his band in 1992, admits he is dreading being back in front of the TV cameras after keeping out of the limelight for so many years.
The 48-year-old, who has had to pull out of a tour with the Gorillaz to go on the hit ITV1 programme, reveals: “I am really dreading being on television 24/7, watched by millions of people. I decided to stay away from telly for a good few years.”
“But I am not bothered about the crocodiles or bugs. The trials don’t bother me, and I am actually looking forward to them, rather than dreading them. The thing I am most looking forward to though is having a laugh in the jungle.”
A huge fan of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Shaun admits he swore he would never take part in the programme – but the dad of six reveals it was his children and his wife who urged him to have a change of heart.
“It’s thanks to my missus and the kids that I am doing this,” he says. “Me, my kids and the missus all watch the show. We really love it. I swore I would not do the programme and I have to admit that when they first approached me about doing it, I blanked the idea for a month.
“But I have got six kids who want me to do the show, the wife wants me to do the show – and that’s why I am doing it. I do want to make them proud.”
Does he hope to make them laugh with his antics in the jungle? Nodding, he replies: “I am sure they will laugh when they see their dad running around the jungle looking stupid!”
He says his role in the jungle will be to do whatever it takes to win food stars for his fellow celebrities – but don’t expect him to volunteer for every job in the jungle!
“If I can get away with what George Hamilton did last year – which was nothing – I will be very happy. Of course, I will do what I have to do because people do have to eat.
“But I don’t mind if I lose weight. Nor does the boredom bother me. I can quite easily sit in the hammock for days! Thinking about it, that’s probably the really exciting bit about it – you get to do nothing when those trials are on!”
Renowned for speaking his mind, the singer – who made a cameo appearance as himself in Shameless last year – reckons he won’t be trying to cause arguments with the rest of his fellow celebrities.
“I don’t like prima donnas,” he warns, “I don’t like idiots either – but I am not confrontational. If they are driving me around the bend, I will try to be tactful and not upset them. I will try to be a warm person.”
And so who would Shaun’s dream celebrity be if he could choose who was joining him on the show? Danny Dyer comes the reply because “he is so cool”.
“But it will be a laugh meeting the other celebrities,” adds Shaun. “Yes I am nervous as it gets nearer to the programme starting, but it will definitely be a buzz doing this.”
Shaun thinks he will miss his family the most, but doesn’t think he will break down in tears whilst in the jungle. “I hope not,” he says. “What is there to cry about? Eating a crocodile nut? No I don’t think so. “
To prepare for his experience on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Shaun hasn’t cut any food out of his diet, but has, instead, practised the way he will look in the jungle. “I am walking around with Y fronts on with my boots,” he chuckles.
He does, however, think he is fairly fit because he has been going to the gym every day for a while. “Of course I would like to win the programme,” he says. “But be sneaky to win? Nah give over. There is no chance in a million years of me doing that. I am not like that.
“I really do like this programme and I am getting to grips with being on it.
“It’s definitely going to be an experience doing I’m A Celebrity!”