Michael Barrymore claims I’m A Celeb won’t sign him being despite popular choice

Michael Barrymore has claimed ITV won’t book him for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! despite being a popular choice. The Strike it Lucky star has been rumoured to be a contestant on the show multiple times, but is yet to make it into the jungle.

Rumours the 71-year-old could become a campmate first emerged in 2003 when he swapped his life in the UK for New Zealand, after Stuart Lubbock’s death, and again following his success as the runner-up in Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.

At the time, an ITV source told the Daily Star: “We have been talking to Barrymore because we think viewers would be attracted to hearing what he has to say in the jungle about his personal problems and all the trauma he’s had in his life. He opened up a great deal when he was in Celebrity Big Brother which is one of the reasons why he was so popular with viewers and almost won that programme.”

Despite being linked to the show, Michael said I’m A Celeb has so far refused to take him on. In response to a TikTok fan who suggested he should become a campmate, he replied: “They won’t book me.”

The presenter’s comment prompted many to react to his post, as one wrote: “Absolutely no reason why not Mr B.” A second added: “We should start a petition to get you on.”

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A third typed: “So you’re still ‘cancelled’ then? An absolute tragedy, we miss you on our TVs.” A representative for ITV declined to comment when approached by Express.co.uk.

ITV terminated Michael’s contract with them in 2002 after Stuart was found dead in his pool at his home in Essex. As part of the high-profile case, the presenter and two other men were arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and murder in 2007, but were later released without charge.

He has always strongly denied any involvement in Stuart’s death, which is revisited in a new Channel 5 documentary.

Michael has since made his television comeback with ITV as a contestant on Dancing on Ice in 2020. He was partnered with professional skater Alex Murphy, but his time came to an abrupt end after he broke his wrist.

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At the time, he wrote on Instagram: “Took a nasty fall on the ice last Friday during rehearsals and sadly broke my left wrist. Absolutely devastated to hear that I can’t go on back on the ice for a while.

“Really enjoyed every single moment of being part of the terrific show and working with all the incredibly talented people involved x.” ITV later confirmed Michael had been replaced by presenter Radzi Chinyanganya.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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