WORLD-renowned tenor Russell Watson is to enter the I’m A Celebrity camp!

In an interview with the Journal and other press, the classical singer revealed he had been asked six times before to join the line up and snapped up the offer this year as it felt like a ‘different challenge.’ He added: “I got asked at the beginning of the year. It was before all the Covid thing came in so it wasn’t related to that in anyway.

“It was just something I thought - I fancy doing something different, a different challenge.

“I’m known for my singing, being on stage and the classical repertoire, but I don’t think anybody has got to know my personality really well and I think this is a good opportunity to do that and test my metal against some of the challenges that will be in there.”

Russell has a prior link with North Wales and has ‘wonderful’ childhood memories.

His grandfather used to live on Anglesey and his family would enjoy holidays on the island and travel to places such as Llandudno and Betws-y-Coed for summer holidays.

Asked by chief reporter Suzanne Kendrick if he was familiar with the castle location and if he had researched the venue, Russell said: “I do know a little bit about the castle. North Wales was a place that, when I was a child, we used to visit a lot of the local castles - Harlech, Conwy and all those places and I’m sure…I’m sure that we have visited the castle before. I can’t remember for sure, but I am pretty certain that we have visited it.

“It is interesting as well because a friend of mine, who was my assistant for about nine years, is a spiritual medium and he did a thing at the castle - searching for ghosts and everything. I didn’t get time unfortunately to have a conversation with him regarding what he found.

“I’m not a big fan of ghosts I’ve got to be honest... or the dark.”

Russell was spooked that the ghost of Gwrych Castle’s previous owner, the Countess of Dundonald, is said to haunt the castle.

“Don’t tell me stuff like that, I won’t be able to sleep!” He laughed.

“I’m not a big fan of the dark. Maybe it is like a control thing because I don’t know what’s there and I can’t see anything and I can’t control it.

“Maybe the darkness is something I’m a little bit frightened of.”

Russell, who is celebrating 20 years in music and five years of marriage with wife Louise, after overcoming two brain tumours, said he plans to be himself in camp.

“There is always going to be people that like you and always going to be people who don’t like you,” he said.

“I think the key to success in anything is just to be yourself.

“You can’t alter people’s perceptions by trying to be something you’re not."

Asked by the Journal if he was looking forward to some normality and not having to social distance, Russell replied: “Oh my! It is funny because for the last couple of week I have been thinking wouldn’t it be nice to just give someone a hug and say ‘hello’.

“I know a couple of the people [campmates] that are in there already. I have met up with different circumstances.

“I have met up with Vernon in the past, we did a big TV show a few years ago for the BBC, so I have worked with Vernon extensively so I know him pretty well. So it will be nice to see some of those guys and be within two metres of them and put an arm round the shoulder - that would be nice. “They seem like a really good bunch of people. I have met Beverley a few times, she is really lovely, warm, bubbly lady. I like her a lot."