Advertisement

Chris Kamara reveals he turned down I'm a Celebrity stint because he's 'too old'

Chris Kamara doesn't fancy a stint in the I'm a Celeb jungle, though he says he has been asked. (PA/Getty)
Chris Kamara doesn't fancy a stint in the I'm a Celeb jungle, though he says he has been asked. (PA/Getty)

Football broadcaster Chris Kamara has turned down the chance to enter the Australian jungle as part of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here because he thinks he's "too old".

Kamara, who has become a cult hero due to his charismatic work on football programmes including Soccer Saturday, told The Sun that he has been invited by ITV to join the show.

Read more: Who was first to be eliminated from I'm a Celeb?

The 64-year-old said: "I think I’m too old now. So, the one thing I don’t want is when they do a challenge to try and win food for the camp and they say: 'Unfortunately, Chris Kamara can’t do tonight’s challenge, because of his illness'.

"Yet why did you go in there in the first place if you can’t do a challenge? So it's maybe not for me anymore."

Chris Kamara is one of the most beloved figures in football broadcasting. (PA/Getty)
Chris Kamara is one of the most beloved figures in football broadcasting. (PA/Getty)

Kamara would be far from the oldest contestant to appear on I'm a Celeb, with Arlene Phillips holding the record — aged 78 when she took part in the 2021 series.

That series, however, took place in Wales due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 77-year-old Stanley Johnson becoming the oldest star to head to Australia with his appearance in the 2017 series.

Read more: Tensions boil over with Matt Hancock and I'm a Celeb campmates

Culture Club singer Boy George is the oldest participant on this year's series at 61, ahead of 59-year-old Coronation Street actor Sue Cleaver.

Boy George is the oldest contestant on the current series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here. (ITV)
Boy George is the oldest contestant on the current series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here. (ITV)

Kamara played more than 600 games at club level in a 20-year football career, including stints at Swindon Town and Brentford.

After a brief attempt at management, he moved into broadcasting and became a stalwart for Sky Sports on the weekly Soccer Saturday show.

Read more: Jill Scott has cockroach removed from ear after I'm a Celeb challenge

He has since spread his TV career further and now presents Ninja Warrior UK for ITV with Ben Shephard and Rochelle Humes.

In an interview with the Diary of a CEO podcast earlier this year, Kamara revealed that he has been diagnosed with apraxia of speech.

Chris Kamara has had to tone down his presenting work since being diagnosed with apraxia of speech. (PA/Getty)
Chris Kamara has had to tone down his presenting work since being diagnosed with apraxia of speech. (PA/Getty)

The condition has caused Kamara to step back from a lot of his presenting work, with the star revealing that he "[feels] a fraud now in terms of broadcasting".

He added: "It feels like someone has taken over my voice box. The voice that used to come out would come out at 300 miles an hour, you’ve seen me on the results and Soccer Saturday, motormouth, talking and not even waiting for a breath, just keep going and going.

Read more: Chris Kamara records Christmas album

"Now when I hear myself or see myself on TV, it’s someone else. It’s really strange."

Kamara is set to explore the impact of his condition alongside Ninja Warrior co-host Ben Shephard in the upcoming ITV documentary Chris Kamara: Lost for Words.

Watch: Matt Hancock discusses Liz Truss's future on I'm a Celeb