'I'm a Celebrity' star and former Royal butler Paul Burrell back in Wrexham

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

FORMER Royal butler Paul Burrell has swapped his luxury home in America for his flower shop in Farndon.

In an exclusive interview with the Leader, the 52-year-old says that he missed Britain and the “beer and fish and chips” and will be focusing on running his shop for at least six months this year.

Mr Burrell, who has a home in Orlando, will live in a flat above the shop.

He told the Leader he would jump at the chance to return to reality TV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!.

But he says he is happy with the reaction from locals who have been surprised to see his face back in the area.

“There has been nothing negative at all,” said Mr Burrell, who spent much of last year travelling around the world.

“I’m a realist and I know that not everybody likes everybody but I only seem to get positive reactions on the streets.

“When I walk down the high street in Wrexham everybody waves and says hello. They are very friendly.

“The people are much more friendly in Wrexham, the people in Chester do not speak so much.”

He added: “People do not believe all they read in newspapers – the people in Wales are not stupid.”

Mr Burrell, who only spent a month in the UK last year, has featured heavily in the media since the death of Princess Diana in 1997, to whom he was the butler.

In 2002 he was acquitted of stealing from the Princess’s estate and, in 2008, gave evidence at the inquest into her death.

He had joined the household of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1987 and served as Princess Diana’s butler until her death.

Speaking about the publicity, the Wrexham FC supporter said: “I just think I am more known now than ever before.

“It is very strange for me. People know me and I think ‘why haven’t you forgotten me yet?’

“Perhaps because I’m always attached to an icon of our times.

“I can’t forget what happened – I spent a lot of time with a very special family and there is a lot of nostalgia there.

“I’m an ordinary man and I have just been thrown into extraordinary circumstances.

“I came from a very simple beginning and I went right to the top – I don’t know anywhere grander than Buckingham Palace.”

Mr Burrell says he doesn’t have any clear plans for the future but wants to “live life now, because tomorrow could be gone”.

His wife Maria, who is from Holt, is based between the Farndon and Orlando homes and Mr Burrell says they keep their relationship “behind closed doors”.

His two sons Alex, 26, and Nick, 23, live in Orlando.

Reflecting on his time on the hit ITV show I’m A Celebrity...Mr Burrell, famed for his reactions during the bushtucker trials, said he would “not recommend” eating kangaroo’s testicles as he was forced to do.

“I would love to go back in the jungle,” he said, “When I saw Jordan go back in I thought I could too. My favourite bit was surviving because I didn’t think I would.”

He came runner up on the show, with the £250,000 prize money going to local charity Nightingale House Hospice.

Mr Burrell added that he would also love to appear on Strictly Come Dancing despite having “two left feet”.

The former butler has also turned his hand to painting watercolours and says he loves to visit places like Erddig and Chirk to get inspiration.

He recently sold 30 paintings at his shop and wants to continue with his new passion.

See full story in the Leader

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