NOEL Edmonds insists he is only going into the jungle because Strictly’s women dancers would hurl themselves at him.
The TV veteran, who is set to join I’m A Celebrity today, revealed he has made a pact with his wife Liz Davies to steer clear of the Strictly “curse”.
Instead, she has been helping him prepare for the Aussie bush by role-playing possible scenarios.
And she stood patiently by as he adjusted his palate — by eating worms from their garden.
Noel, 69, admitted to The Sun: “I have been asked to do Strictly. Liz is a fully-trained singer and dancer and a couple of years ago she said, ‘Why don’t we cheat? Why don’t we say you’re a novice and I’ll teach you before’.
“Then I think there was one of those curse moments and I said to her, ‘Are you comfortable with me spending five or six days a week with a half-naked woman draped all over me?’ And it’s funny how the conversation just changed.
“We’ve got something very, very special.” He mused: “I would be a cross between Ann Widdecombe and John Sergeant. But in my head I’m Fred Astaire.
“I don’t know why, nothing works — it’s hopeless, so I’d never do it.”
Noel, whose impressive presenting CV includes Top of the Pops, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Noel’s House Party and Deal or No Deal, has been making sure he starts off on the right foot when he enters the I’m A Celebrity camp.
Sitting in the luxurious lobby of the Gold Coast’s Versace hotel, he looks relaxed about his impending adventure. And no wonder, following extensive preparations.
He says, totally seriously: “There are now no worms in our garden.” And when asked what they taste like, he replies: “Exactly what you’d expect.”
His, ahem, groundwork means he’s now unfazed by the prospect of eating kangaroo testicles on the ITV show — as long as they’re prepped correctly.
“Empty testicles I’m better with,” he says. “So I hope they’re emptied before. I’ve never seen reference to whether they are or not.”
He also boasts that he’s “good with bugs and spiders” but “slightly claustrophobic”. And, despite being a helicopter pilot, he is scared of heights.
To help him overcome his fears, he has visualised how scenarios might play out then rehearsed them with Liz, 49.
“I have role-played with her,” he says. “She is so protective and she has never seen me lose my rag. I am not that sort of person really.
“I’m actually a people person so I’m genuinely looking forward to meeting everybody. I’m also a team player so I don’t want to let anyone down. I’ll give it my best shot.” Dad-of-four Noel confirmed that his stint on the show will be his last TV hurrah, as revealed by The Sun last week. But only if viewers vote him King of the Jungle.
He has even coined a phrase for his “glorious” exit — Nexit.
“If they do vote me king I will never appear on television again,” he said. “Fifty years on TV is long enough — give us a break for Christ’s sake.
“We’ve got enough problems with Brexit . . . Nexit? Now I’d be very happy to do that deal but on the terms I win the bloody thing.”
Noel, who is getting a £600,000 fee for appearing on the show, is confident of success, bragging: “I’ve had a fantastic relationship with the British public.
“I may be Marmite but there’s a hell of a lot of people that seem to like Noel’s version of Marmite.
“My demographic is actually very broad, because there’s a generation that remembers Swap Shop or even Radio 1 Breakfast Show and then there’s the littlies who would watch Deal or No Deal.
“Judging by the number of things I get asked to do I don’t think the public are sick of me.”
However he is worried his most famous co-host, Mr Blobby, might make a sneaky appearance in a Bushtucker trial. Noel says of his House Party pal: “Well, it’s a sad story — the fame got to him.
“He got a bar in Marbella, and Mrs Blobby left with the kids and he drank the profits.”
Asked if they’ll ever share a screen together again, Noel firmly replies: “Hopefully not.”
He also fears the public might try and get their revenge by voting him into trials — after years of watching him carry out practical jokes on TV.
“I’m sure I’ll have a horrendous time. Look at the pedigree, being honest about this. Gotchas, gunging, silly phonecalls, I deserve it.”
But he cheekily adds: “No one will be interested in seeing me in the shower. I don’t think ITV’s ready for Mr Happy and the twins.”
The most difficult bit for him will be being without Liz, his third wife who he wed in 2009. “It’s the longest Liz and I have ever been apart.
“They took my phone away yesterday.” Noel is hoping to smuggle in a bracelet that reminds him of her, explaining: “It’s got a message from Liz. It just says, ‘I love you’.”