Reality TV star Joey Essex has said he wanted to take on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins to help show his true self because people “really underestimate who I really am”.
Essex rose to fame as part of The Only Way Is Essex (Towie) and after appearing as a supporting cast member in the second series, went on to become one of the most popular permanent cast on the ITV2 reality series.
The 29-year-old has grabbed headlines over the years with his ditzy comments and his use of the word ‘reem’, defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as an adjective and UK slang meaning “good or attractive”.
Essex said of his time on the SAS show: “I would say the main reason I took the opportunity was probably to show people who I really am. People see me on TV and they go “Yeah, Joey Essex. Oh yeah, he’s stupid”. But I feel like people under-estimate who I really am, deep down inside.
“I’ve done loads of shows but I think this is the first one that’s going to show the deep layer under the skin of Joey Essex. I had heard about the show before, and I knew it would be such a crazy experience, but you come out of the other side a better person”.
He left Towie in 2013 and has since gone on to star in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and also fronted his own show, Educating Joey Essex, which was narrated by This Morning star Phillip Schofield and saw him interview political heavyweights.
Essex said his stint on Channel 4’s gruelling series would change people’s opinions of him.
He said: “People are going to say, ‘I didn’t realise he was this tough, he’s really tough’.
“I wanted to show people a different side to what they see on TV – me with my big white teeth! I wanted to show people what’s under my skin, what I’m really about”.
Katie Price, Anthea Turner and Brendan Cole are also among the 12-strong crop of celebrity recruits taking on the challenging terrain of Scotland’s rugged West Coast to see if they have what it takes to pass SAS selection.
Completing the line-up is TV presenter Helen Skelton, former Wimbledon footballer John Fashanu, Hollyoaks actress Nikki Sanderson, YouTube star Jack Maynard, Paralympian Lauren Steadman, Rudimental DJ, Locksmith and Radio 1Xtra DJ Yasmin Evans as well as former boxing champion Tony Bellew.
Asked about being screamed at by chief instructor, Ant Middleton and his team of directing staff, Essex said: “I’ve been brought up around toughness, so I knew I was going to be all right with that side of it.
“Getting shouted at is obviously not nice, even if you haven’t really done anything wrong. But this is why I took the show on because I knew I could cope with people who tried techniques to control me”.
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins airs on Channel 4 on Monday at 9pm April 20.