As I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! is returning to the Australian jungle for the upcoming 2022 series, the ITV show's bosses have reportedly eyed up some potential candidates, including a football legend.
Since its debut in 2002, I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! has remained one of ITV's rating winners, attracting over 9 million viewers each series. Celebrity contestants in the show will live together in extreme conditions in the Australian jungle and try their best to secure food for their group.
The 2021 series featured TV presenter Richard Madeley, former BBC Breakfast host Louise Minchin, Coronation Street's Simon Gregson, and Frankie Bridge, which prompted fans to make speculations about which celebrities are joining the show this year. While Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will continue to be in the hot seat as hosts, the identity of celebrities to head down the Australian jungle still remains unconfirmed. However, it is reported that the ITV show's bosses are in talks with a former football star to sign him for the upcoming season.
Adebayo 'The Beast' Akinfenwa is set to star in I'm A Celeb this year
According to Mirror, former football star Adebayo Akinfenwa is reportedly considering partaking in I'm A Celeb as the show returns to the Australian jungle later this year. His strong presence among younger viewers is expected to help the ITV show draw more audience. As noted by the Dailystar, the 40-year-old star is a famous name not only in real life but also in FIFA video games, which means he can appeal to the young audience. A source told The Sun:
'Ade is in the frame and would be keen on appearing. He was a hardman on the pitch but is a gent off it.'
The source added:
'He’s also charismatic and funny and knows loads of people in the game.'
Akinfewa, who was known as the UK's heaviest footballer at 16 stone with an intimidating playing style, would be joining the likes of Ian Wright, David Ginola, Harry Redknapp, and Neil Ruddock as part of the footballer squad to have entered the much-loved show.
The English former footballer had an enviable career spanning 22 years, playing for several teams in the Championship such as Millwall, AFC Wimbledon, Wycombe Wanderers, and Swansea City. Totally, he played 695 games and scored an impressive 206 goals in his career.
After retiring from the field in May this year, the London-born former striker is preoccupied with running his own clothing line, Beast Mode On. The self-proclaimed 'Beast' is also the author of the hit autobiography The Beast: My Story, which was released in 2017.
The spokesperson for Akinfenwa and ITV both declined to comment on the rumor, however.
I'm a Celeb will return to Australia for the first time in two years
In the past couple of series, I'm a Celeb has been filmed in Gwrych Castle in Wales due to the pandemic restrictions. However, with quarantine easing, the ITV favorite is set to return to its iconic Australian jungle.
Host Anthony told Heart Radio:
'The plan is we're going back to Australia. It's got to go back to hits spiritual home. Everyone wants to see a bit of sunshine at that time of year on the telly.'