I’m A Celeb’s Russell Watson boasts he’s ‘strong, fit and going into camp to win’

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Opera singer Russell Watson says he is going into camp strong and ready to win the show – as he was confirmed as a late entry alongside West End star Ruthie Henshall tonight.

The pair will enter the show officially on Wednesday and Russell says he has been training hard to be able to compete against whatever is thrown at him once he is in the castle.

The 53-year-old, who has beaten two brain tumours, said: “I'm feeling fitter and stronger than I have for a long time.

“I've been training like a lunatic for the last couple of weeks. I have got one of those Peloton bikes and last week I did 60 miles on it. And I have been hammering the weights as well so I feel like I am in a good place to go in there and also to test my mettle against the challenges.

(Image: ITV)

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“I am a very competitive human being.

“I would like to win. There are some very strong characters in there, so I would never assume it will happen but if someone asks 'would I like to win' then yeah of course I would.

“You don't get from where I came from which is the factory floor of a Salford workshop to being the best selling classical artist in the UK without being a driven lunatic. I have always worked hard and been driven. I always grab a challenge with both hands.

“So I'm not going in there to fade into the background, that is for sure.”

(Image: Getty Images North America)

One thing Russell won't be phased by is the freezing cold weather at Gwrych Castle, claiming his Manchester upbringing will mean he is well equipped to cope.

He said: “I live in Manchester so I am used to that. It just rains and it is cloudy most of the time, even during the summer.

“It's nothing new for me and as a kid North Wales is where my mum and dad used to bring me my sister for holidays or days out anytime of the year.

“So I am quite used to wrapping up and sticking the scarf on and Wellington boots.

“It's not really a challenge, also I quite like of the cold you know because growing up in Salford my dad would never put the central heating on so the ice was always on the inside of the window in the winter.

“An old friend of mine used to say, you know when it has got to minus five because that is when Russell stops wearing shorts.”

(Image: Getty Images)

Russell already knows several of the contestants having worked with Vernon Kay and Shane Richie over the years and knowing Beverley Callard from the Manchester showbiz scene.

By contrast Ruthie, 53, admitted to being a little disappointed to be a wild card instead of being amongst the initial 10 contestants who went in at the weekend.

The stage star said: “I have been pulling my hair out for the last couple of weeks. I definitely think it feels a little bit more difficult because it feels like you're coming into school late and everybody's got their gangs already.

“So you feel a little bit like I'll be the outsider because you know they'll have been in there for a few days.

“But I'm used to being part of a company, I'm used to going in, in that situation. I'm just gonna get the most out of it as I can just throw myself into it. And then hope they've got room in their heart for another celeb.

(Image: ITV)

“Who wouldn't want to be queen of the castle. You know, that is a marvellous title. But I am really not even thinking that far.”

Ruthie believes in ghosts and wouldn't be surprised to see some in the castle as she has spoken to them in the theatres she performs in,

She revealed: “I would like to think that loved ones are still with us so if that's the case then maybe there are ghosts.

“Whenever I go into a theatre once I finish the show and it is my last show in that theatre I always go out, when the ghost light is on and thank the theatre and all the theatre ghosts for having me for however long I've been there.

“Because I think that when people perform, if you're performing in the Palladium, you know, just maybe a tiny bit of Judy Garland fairy dust is still in there.”

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