I’m a celebrity … I’ve got two brand new music guests ready to join me at the out camp here.
In a surprise announcement, opera musician Russell Watson and West End superstar Ruthie Henschel have been confirmed as entry campmates late today (Tuesday).
The dynamic pair officially enters the castle on Wednesday – and one must be clear that he will be the winner of the 2020 series.
Russell says he is undergoing rigorous training to kill what was thrown at him after he arrived at the castle.
The 53-year-old, who has had two brain tumors, said: “I have been feeling stronger and stronger for a long time.
“I’ve been training like crazy for the last few weeks. I got one of those Pelton bikes and last week I did 60 miles on it. And I’ve been hammering weights too so I think I’m in a good place to go there and test my talents against challenges.
“I am a very competitive person.
“I want to win. There are some pretty strong characters out there, so I’ll never assume this will happen. But if someone asks ‘I want to win’, I will.”
“You won’t find it from where I came from which is the factory floor of a Salford workshop that has become the UK’s best-selling classical artist without being driven crazy. I have always worked hard and been driven. I always hold a challenge with both hands.
“So I’m not going there to fade into the background, that’s for sure.”
One thing Russell can’t bring up is that the cool weather at Greich Castle, his upbringing in Manchester would mean he’s well-equipped to deal with.
He said: “I live in Manchester so I’m used to it. It is only rainy and cloudy most of the time even in summer.
“It’s nothing new for me and as a kid, North Wales where my mom and dad used to take my sister out on holidays or any other day of the day. So I’m pretty used to wrapping and sticking scarves and Wellington boots.
“It’s not really a challenge, I also like the winter you know because my dad who grew up in Salford never kept warm so in winter the snow was always inside the windows.
“A former friend of mine used to say, you know when it’s going to be minus five because that’s when Russell stopped wearing shorts.”
And Russell knows many of the already existing contestants, working with Vernon K and Shane Ritchie over the years and recognizing Beverly Collard from the Manchester Showbiz scene.
In contrast to Russell’s winning form, 53-year-old Ruthy admits to being a bit frustrated as a wild card instead of being sent into the weekend’s top 10 contestants.
The stage star said: “I have been pulling my hair for the last few weeks. I obviously think it seems a bit more difficult because you think you came to school late and everyone already has their team.
“So you felt a bit like I’d be an outsider because you know they’ll be there for a while.
“But I’m used to being part of an organization, I was used to this situation. I’m going to get the most out of it because I can just throw it at myself. And then hopefully they’ve found a place in their hearts for another celebrity.
“Who wouldn’t want to be the queen of the castle. You know, it’s a great title. But I don’t really think so far.
Spiritual Ruthi believes in ghosts and says she will not be surprised to see something in the castle as she talks to them in the theater.
He stated: “I would like to think that loved ones are still with us, so if that happened then there would be ghosts.
“Every time I finish a show I go to a theater and this is my last show in the theater. I always go out when there are ghost lights and thank the theater and all the theater ghosts for being there for so long.”
“Because I think when people perform, if you’re performing on the palladium, you know, most likely a small part of Judy Garland’s fairy dust is still there.”