The former king of Saturday night telly is hoping to become the king of ITV’s jungle.

Noel said deal to a stint in ITV’s celebrity jungle.

For decades Noel was one of the big personality of BBC radio, and later television, hosting Radio 1’s breakfast show, Top of the Pops for BBC One as well as children’s magazine series Swap Shop on Saturday mornings. However it was in the 80s and 90s that Noel became the face of Saturday night primetime with shows such as The Late, Late Breakfast Show and Noel’s House Party.

While offers to switch House Party to ITV in the 1990s failed, the broadcaster has finally lured Edmonds onto the network – with the presenter spending the last fifteen years over on Channel 4 hosting game show Deal or No Deal and more recently a less successful Cheap, Cheap, Cheap. Noel famously fell out with the dear Beeb in 1999 when they chopped House Party from the screens of BBC One after eight years of celebrity gunging and gotchas, public stitch-ups with NTV and Mr Blobby.

Noel with the Swap Shop team for BBC One in the 70s.

Hosting a Christmas edition of Top of the Pops with Tony Blackburn, Tony won I’m A Celebrity in 2002 – the first King of the Jungle.

As a well-known name in TV entertainment, Noel Edmonds has played plenty of pranks on celebrities and members of the public over the years – and now he knows it’s going to be time for revenge on him.

The TV and radio star – who turns 70 shortly after I’m A Celebrity finishes this year – has also vowed to retire from our television screens if he is crowned King of the Jungle. Smiling, the former presenter of Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Telly Addicts and Deal or No Deal said on his jungle stint:

“After everything I have done with Gotchas and gunging, I am well aware they are going to put me through absolute hell and I deserve it! I think the British public will enjoy seeing me finally getting my comeuppance! I just know they are going to really give me a hard time… I am going to win because I promise the British public if they vote for me, I will retire from television and I will never appear again. There’s a deal that I am striking with the great British public who have supported me over the years – they make me ‘King of the Jungle’ and I will retire and never appear again!” – Noel Edmonds

This is a little disingenuous as Noel also provided much joy, especially to deserving viewers with his Christmas Presents series, and live Christmas Day specials prior, which gave members of the public special gifts and chances to do things they never thought possible.

Noel hosted Noel’s House Party from 1991 to 1999.

From 1985 to 1998 Noel fronted TV nostalgia clip quiz show Telly Addicts for the Beeb.

Noel is a late arrival to the ITV jungle show, which he ponders;

“It’s going to feel a bit like turning up to a party a few hours after it’s started but not even being able to bring a bottle! It’s going to be an interesting reaction. How will the people who have been there for a while feel about me wandering in? The helicopter they use are the helicopters I fly so I could turn up and say ‘hello I’m a celebrity, I’m going to get you out of here!” – Noel Edmonds

And the popular presenter admits people will be surprised when they find out he has decided to take part in this year’s I’m A Celebrity. It’s down to presenter, Declan Donnelly, he explains, who first mooted the idea of him going in the Jungle. The pair recorded a special sequence for the finale of Saturday Night Takeaway which saw Noel compare the series to House Party, something viewers had been doing for years.

“I think people will be surprised,” he says. “I think my friends are going to be absolutely stunned. It actually started as I was filming with Dec earlier in the year and he said ‘Ah you should do the Jungle’. Our 15-year-old son, Harrison, was there at the time and he said ‘it will be brilliant; you have got to do the Jungle’.”

“He put me under considerable pressure. The reason why I’m going to have this amazing experience is down to Harrison. I just love the idea that I’m going to live out in the natural environment. I’m looking forward to learning more about myself and meeting people I would never normally ever spend time with.” For someone who is known for his love of flying helicopters, it comes as a shock to discover he’s actually scared of heights.

“I am not great in confined areas. For a helicopter pilot it is strange to admit I have a fear of heights. You can overcome phobias when you treat them logically but I may well succumb. I am going to give it my best shot. Whatever I do, I’m determined not to let people down. I have a fear of letting people down. I am a team player.”

Admitting he hates confrontation, Noel says he is brilliant at domestic chores. “My role in the camp will be doing the washing up,” he says. “I am very good at domestic duties and I will keep the place as tidy as I can.”

I’m a Celebrity airs nightly on ITV, STV and UTV.

Deal or No Deal proved a big hit for afternoons on Channel 4.

Noel also hosted ‘feel good’ annual festive special Noel’s Christmas Presents for BBC One and later Sky One.
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