I’m A Celebrity latecomer Noel Edmonds has confirmed he will formally start his £60m lawsuit against Lloyds Bank this week – just as he enters the jungle.
The Deal or No Deal star has also pledged to use a portion of any money gained from the pending lawsuit to fund a charity for banking victims.
According to reports on Monday, Edmonds’ lawyers are expected to serve Lloyds Bank with a pre-case letter this Wednesday, although the formal claim itself may not be filed until early December, by which time Noel would still be expected to be Down Under taking part in I’m A Celeb.
Speaking to the Mirror in Australia, Noel said: “Yes, it’s due to happen on Wednesday – it’s meant to start. I don’t know how busy I’ll be with it, it’s entirely dependent on how they respond. We’re filing a 240-page report and my case also helps other people’s cases, so how they react is up to them.”
Noel, 69, is believed to be seeking up to £60m in damages over claims that his firm, Unique Group, was pushed into failure by fraudsters at the Reading branch of HBOS, which Lloyds acquired at the height of the financial crisis.
Noel Edmonds will start his £60million lawsuit this week
(Image: James Gourley/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
HBOS Reading bankers have since been jailed over the £245m loans scam in which financiers spent the money on prostitutes and holidays.
Edmonds has previously said: “I think the chances of a negotiated settlement are very, very slim, and I suspect that their very expensive lawyers will try and drag this out now for the next couple of years. But I’m up to it and I know that we are going to win in court. I have the damning evidence.”
He added that he wants to help people navigate the litigation options and financial support systems that could help bolster their cases. The charity won’t provide direct funding for lawsuits itself, but will aim to offer “intelligence and contacts”.
Noel Edmonds is ready for the jungle
“This will be a one-stop shop for those who believe they are victims of banking criminality and we will help them to process and progress their claim,” he said.
The bank has set aside £100m to compensate HBOS Reading victims. It said earlier this year it had “sought to reach a resolution with Mr Edmonds through mediation” but said it was not possible.
A spokesman for Lloyds Bank said: “We are still waiting for Mr Edmonds to file his legal claim. If he does file his claim, it will be contested.”
Noel will join the jungle camp by the end of the week. The Mirror understands he has signed a deal worth £500,000 with ITV to take part, although he joked he is paying ITV for the “digital detox” it will provide.
I’m A Celebrity 2018
When does I’m A Celebrity 2018 start?
I’m A Celebrity 2018 line-up
Who won I’m A Celebrity 2017?
I’m A Celebrity past winners