Date of birth: 24th September 1965
Phobias: Crabs. “I don’t like the way they walk!”
Missing any special occasion: No, but her youngest son has pulled out of a starring role in a school play so he can fly out to Australia with her
Relationship status: Single
Sheryl Gascoigne says the hardest thing about going in the jungle is being away from her children.
And the ex-wife of troubled footballer star, Gazza, says she may break down in tears if the going gets too tough for her.
The pretty 45-year-old admits: “I hope I don’t break down – but I can’t guarantee it. You are in a very different environment. I have been a mum for 24 years and I really do not know how I will be.
“The hardest thing for me is definitely being away from the children, particularly my youngest son Regan.
“Regan and I are very close and being away is going to be really tough.”
It’s third time lucky for Sheryl, who has turned down two previous offers to appear on the show in the past. So why has she agreed to do it this time?
“I am a very mad person!” she says laughing. “They approached me last year, and again earlier this year. I said no on both occasions. I swore I wouldn’t do it.
“But my friends really want me to do it as they think people will get a chance to see the real me – and so I decided to say yes. My kids are very excited and they have always said I should do it. I guess I will give them some street cred now!
“I do really love the programme. I think Ant and Dec are geniuses and weirdly as it now approaches, I am getting excited. I have never done anything like this before and it’s going to be an experience – that is for sure.”
Sheryl feels she has absolutely nothing to prove by going on the programme, and she explains she definitely is not doing the show to carve out a new career in television.
“The difference for me is I don’t have a career and I have no need to get something out of it,” she says. “In fact I will be going back to my nice quiet life when it finishes!”
Aside from missing her children like crazy, she says she is dreading all the trials but will try her hardest to win food points for her fellow celebrities.
“Once I make a decision, I will stick by it and I will try,” she says. “I’d like to think I am a team player and I am easy to get on with. I am not argumentative but I will stand up to bullies. I can’t believe I am going to be living with people I have never met before and sharing a toilet with them! It feels so strange.
“I don’t see myself as the entertainer. I would like to think I will be a good shoulder to cry on in the camp, and remain strong to do that. It will be nice to be with the girlies. I am a big woman’s woman. I am more worried about what the men are going to be like, and whether they will be bullies or not. I will be the mum or granny in there – and it’s nice to be a comfort if I can be.”
Sheryl’s ideal fellow celebrity in the jungle would be Grace Kelly “because I would love to sit and talk to her”, and she says she is happy to talk about her well-documented life around the campfire. “That would be nice to do that,” she says. “It’s interesting talking about other people’s lives and I do feel I have been honest about mine in the past.”
And what is she looking forward to most? “Apart from coming out and having that glass of champagne, I just think it will be a new experience for me,” Sheryl replies. “I have always just been a mum and when that is taken away (like it is in the jungle), what sort of person will I be?”
Describing herself as “very much single”, Sheryl does not expect to fall in love. “I very much doubt that,” she shrieks, laughing as she does.
Nor does she think she will gain confidence during her time in the jungle. “I actually think I will be less confident,” she giggles. “Both my two eldest children would love to do something like this and when it gets tough in there, I am just going to have to imagine what a really nice Christmas we will have afterwards!”