Soap legend Charlie Lawson is backing his Coronation Street pal Simon Gregson to win I’m A Celebrity… but says he wouldn’t last five minutes in the “politically correct” jungle.
Charlie (62), better known as the Street’s Belfast hardman Jim McDonald, worked alongside Simon for years with the 47-year-old playing his on-screen son Steve.
Simon was drafted into the Welsh Castle alongside EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt last week with the pair both named ‘lords’ of the castle granting them special privileges.
Simon and Charlie are good friends off-screen and the Fermanagh actor says it will be interesting to see how his “delicate” pal fares on the show.
He told Sunday Life: “I heard they went in as lords, he’ll lap that up so he will.
“He’s not the most robust human being, Simon has a stomach which is more delicate than my German Shepherd’s and they are delicate dogs.
“He’s got the b***s to take it on but he is a very sensitive young boy so I will certainly enjoy him taking on the challenges.
“He’s an adorable man and I love him very much, we’re extremely close, in fact I spoke to him when he was just about to go into the jungle a few days before.
“He was wandering about in the middle of nowhere with a bloody mask on keeping himself to himself because they were under orders not to get Covid-19.
“I wish him all the luck in the world. I know it opens doors and I know he has a couple of projects that he wants desperately to do and I think if he won this it would maybe help make those happen.”
Charlie says he twice turned down the chance to appear on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here over the years and reckons he wouldn’t last long on the show due to modern ‘political correctness’.
He continued: “I’m afraid I’d be slung out within hours for being rude to someone. I wouldn’t do it because I’d probably let myself and the camp down, I don’t suffer fools gladly and I don’t think I’d be able to keep me gob shut.
“I certainly wouldn’t be able not to swear, nobody swears, what the f*** is that all about? If I was having to eat a kangaroo’s a**e or whatever I’m afraid I’d get through it by roaring and swearing.
“I don’t think I’d be asked, I wouldn’t fit in with this new politically correct jungle which surrounds us.
“I don’t get on with that one bit so I would just end up offending the entire British population as a whole because everybody’s so goddamn sensitive now about everything.
“It’s not something that interests me but I wish Simon all the very best, he’s a darling boy and let’s hope he goes on and wins it.”
Charlie also admitted he’s not usually an avid viewer of the show, but says he will be tuning in this year to watch his mate Simon take on the trials.
He added: “I don’t usually watch it, I watched it last year because I was asked to by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, as my former co-star Bev Callard was on the show.
“I’ll be watching this year too as I’ll be interested to see how he gets on, especially the bush tucker trials.
“I wouldn’t do it for a month of Sundays. I’m not sure how he will get on with the creepy crawlies, but I would imagine he will absolutely not be a fan.
“I love him to pieces but I’ve never shoved a wasp down his shirt or a spider down his pants, rest assured I would have done if I could, so I’m not sure how he will get on with that. All these things are mental though, aren’t they, so if you get your head in the right place I think you can do practically anything.
“It wouldn’t bother me eating a sheep’s b******s, but there you go.”