Russell Watson has said he has been “training like a lunatic” in preparation for going into the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here castle and will embrace the cold and rain of north Wales.
The classical singer, 53, has survived two brain tumours and said he now feels fighting fit as he and West End star Ruthie Henshall were announced as late arrivals for the 2020 series of the ITV show.
He said: “The way it affects me now, I have to take replacement hormones so I have to inject growth hormone and I have to take hydrocortisone, steroids, gels, all kinds of different tablets, just to sustain my hormones. But that is something I’ve been doing for the last 12 or 13 years and it’s something I don’t really think about.
“If somebody mentioned it to me then obviously I will discuss it but otherwise I generally don’t think about it, I just get on with my life and it doesn’t really affect me.
“I train like a lunatic, I’ve been training like a lunatic for the last couple of weeks. I’ve got one of those Peloton bikes and last week I did nearly 60 miles on it and I’ve been hammering the weights and everything so I feel like I’m in a good place at the moment to go in there and take on some challenges and also I’m a very competitive human being.”
He added: “I got asked at the start of this year. I’ve been asked six times already and I just felt like I’m fitter and stronger than I’ve felt for a long time.
“I just felt like I fancied a new challenge, something different. And watching the show metamorphosise over the last three or four years and rather than it being bikini-clad women and six packs and all that and I’ve watched it develop… where the focus has been on the characters.
“There have been some really fantastic charcters in there and I quite like that. So it’s something that I would really like to be involved in at this stage in my life and career and also to test my mettle against all the challenges that will be ahead in the competition.”
However, Watson said he is nervous about the reports that the castle where the show is being filmed, Gwrych Castle in Abergele, is haunted.
He said: “I’m not great with stuff like that. I would actually like to see a ghost just to confirm that there is something out there but I am a bit of a scaredy cat.
“I’m not a big fan of the dark, I’ve got to be honest. If I walk into a room, the first thing I’m reaching for is the light.”
He is much more optimistic about the Welsh weather though and said: “I live in Manchester so I’m used to that. It just rains and its cloudy and it’s cold pretty much most of the time, even during the summer actually, so it’s nothing new for me.
“As a kid, north Wales is where my mum and dad used to bring me and my sister for holidays or days out at any time of the year. So I was used to wrapping up, sticking a scarf on and my wellington boots and trudging around Wales… So it’s not really a challenge.
“I also quite like the cold because, growing up in Salford, my dad never used to put the central heating on. So the ice was always on the inside of the window during the winter so the cold never bothered me. A friend of mine used to say to me he knows when it’s got to minus five cos that is usually around the time Russell stops wearing shorts.”