Belfast Telegraph

Craig Charles: Sudden death of my brother helped spur Gadget Show adventure

Craig Charles said his brother's sudden death spurred him on to try "new adventures" and is one of the reasons he has joined The Gadget Show.

The Red Dwarf star is the new host of the revamped Channel 5 technology programme having taken over the reins from long-running presenter Jason Bradbury, and was delighted to be offered the chance to sink his "teeth into" it.

Charles was taking part in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! in 2014 when he learned his brother Dean had died of a heart attack, prompting him to leave the reality show just a few days in.

Several months later, he quit his decade-long role as Lloyd Mullaney on soap opera Coronation Street in order to try new things, and it was his departure that eventually led him to The Gadget Show.

He told the Press Association: "I wanted new adventures. I'd been there for 10 years and my brother passed away while I was in the jungle.

"He was 52 and I'm 52 now, and I just thought, you know, it could all end tomorrow. He dropped dead so suddenly.

"I thought, you know what, let's go try something new. It's why I'm doing The Gadget Show. It's really cool for me, it's like a new adventure. It's something new to get my teeth into."

As well as prompting Charles to try new things, it was also a chance for him to return to working on cult sitcom Red Dwarf, which returned in 2016 with its 11th series and will air its 12th later in 2017.

Charles, who is also known for previously hosting challenge shows Robot Wars and Takeshi's Castle, said he would like to return to the I'm A Celebrity jungle to "finish that journey", but that he is too obvious a choice.

He said: "They asked me to go back in the jungle the year after but I couldn't because I was doing Red Dwarf.

"They didn't ask me last year and I don't think they will ask me again until the clamour dies down, because every year I'm one of the favourites to go into the jungle in all the papers, but while I'm a favourite, they won't ask me.

"They want people to be surprised by the people in the jungle.

"I'd like to finish that journey, I was enjoying myself. I was six or seven days in and I was feeling quite good."

Although he is excited to be fronting the Gadget Show along with returning regulars Jon Bentley and Ortis Deley and newcomer Georgie Barrat, Charles is admittedly a "luddite" when it comes to gadgets.

"I'm a pproaching this like the man in the street," Charles said.

"It's better to be like a four-year-old, presenting things in a way that everyone can understand.

"I think technology puts a lot of people off, they think it's too complicated, but once it's explained to you in a way that you can understand, it's quite liberating."

He added: "So I'm going to try and get to that point in the show, and then I can make my own mind up if something is worth it or not.

"If things are crap then I want to say they're crap, you know?"

:: The new series of The Gadget Show airs on Friday at 7pm on Channel 5.

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