Vernon Kay fears I’m A Celeb fans will ‘target’ him for horror Bushtucker trials

TV host Vernon Kay is terrified he will become a target for Bushtucker Trials on I'm A Celebrity.

The 46-year-old star – who is married to Tess Daly – famously got caught up in a sexting scandal with Page Three girl Rhian Sugden.

He was forced to publicly apologise to family and admitted he had been "an idiot" for sending flirty messages to the model.

Vernon – who has signed for I'm A Celebrity and was set to enter haunted Gwrych Castle in Wales yesterday – wants to put the 2010 controversy behind him.

But he is worried he may be picked on for nasty trials as some of his pals have already told him they plan to do just that.

The Family Fortunes and Splash presenter said: "When my name was rumoured, the first message I got was from Paddy McGuinness wishing me good luck.

"And he said ‘Go on sunshine. Lots of love. I am going to be voting every night and I'm going to spend every penny I've made making sure that you eat the sheep's knackers.'"

Vernon says if there are camp fire chats with fellow stars like Bev Callard, Shane Richie and Mo Farah about career highs and lows, he will be open about them but stressed he and Tess had "moved on" from his texting shame.

He explained: "All that stuff is in the past. We've forgotten about that, we've moved on. It's all gone. It's disappeared.

"I'm hoping this camp will be an open forum with no judgement on what people have done in the past and the present and how they've moved on from it.

"There isn't a hidden side to me. I've been on telly for 20 years and I'm just doing this because I want to do it."

Vernon says wife Tess is fully supportive of him doing the ITV show which had to be shifted from Australia to Wales this year due to the pandemic.

He added: "She's 100% behind me. Actually, she encouraged me to do it. She was like ‘Go in there and do it. Have fun'."

And as he prepared to meet hosts Ant and Dec in the Welsh castle, he compared his wife and her sidekick Claudia Winkleman to the Geordie duo because of the way they present Strictly.

He added: "They're brilliant together. They've got the same kind of relationship as Ant and Dec. The straight man, the funny man. Those two go out there every weekend and do it flawlessly live. I have nothing but unbridled respect for them."

Asked if he planned to show off his toned torso in the castle shower, he laughed: "I've got a full-on wetsuit. There is no way my nipples are being on national television but I can't wait for Shaine Richie to shower in his undies."

His luxury item is a cashmere blanket as it will remind him of home and his wife and two daughters.

He explained: "Whenever anyone sits on the sofa, they always wrap themselves in this cashmere blanket. We've had it in the family for ages.

And since he is pals with Ant and Dec, he admits that he hopes they might smuggle a treat in for him if he gets hungry.

He said: "I'm hoping they'll have a chocolate bar in their back pocket if I ever have to do a task or anything like that. They're always good fun."

I'm A Celebrity starts on Sunday on ITV at 9pm.

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