Just how much would you have to shell out to get a disgraced X Factor star to enter the Big Brother house, do you think?
£5000? £500? Fifty quid and a bottle of cheap cider? Not a bit of it.
James Arthur reckons Channel 5 bosses offered him a staggering £250,000 to appear on the show – but even that wasn’t enough to tempt him.
James’s career was in tatters back in 2014 following a series of sex scandals and homophobic tweets, so you’d have thought when the reality TV bigwigs came calling, he’d have jumped at the chance.
“I got offered loads of reality shows including I’m A Celebrity and Celebrity Big Brother,” he told The Daily Star. “They were life-changing amounts of money. The most I got offered was £250,000 for CBB, which I really needed at the time, not knowing if I had a career.
“I think they thought I was a crazy Twitter troll and didn’t realise I am a shy, self-deprecating guy. I feel like I made a brave decision not taking the cash. It was a great option for me and my family but I wanted to stay true to my music and I am proud of that decision.”
Of course, James’s decision has paid off in spectacular style, and he’s defied the odds to release the biggest selling single by a British artist this year.
”I’m a huge fan of [Celebrity Big Brother] but I don’t think there’s any chance I would be back at No.1 now if I’d gone down that route,” he explains.
Looking back at James’s spectacular fall from grace, it does show an incredible amount of willpower to turn down such an incredible sum. The 28-year-old singer spent most of his X-Factor winnings on a lavish holiday in Miami for eight pals, and it was only gigs in Eastern Europe that kept the wolves from the door.
“It was gigs in Moldova of all places that kept me out of the red,” he explained. “I did a lot of gigs in the Ukraine, Portugal and Poland. I was lucky that Europe was still on board with me.”
It sounds like James is a little more sensible with his money these days, too. Asked what he’s planning to buy with the money Simon Cowell’s record label are due to dish out to him just before Chrismas, he replied: “a big sofa.”
Steady on, James!