Tuesday 12 December 2017

Corrie star is hypnotised ahead of heading to the Jungle

Corrie's Antony Cotton has revealed he has undergone hypnotherapy to help conquer his fears ahead of entering I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

The 36-year-old is one of 10 contestants heading into the jungle, including comedian Freddie Starr, US actress Stefanie Powers and The Only Way Is Essex's Mark Wright.

And McFly bassist Dougie Poynter will be giving his bandmate - Strictly Come Dancing's Harry Judd - a run for his money by taking part in his own show, as he too heads into the jungle.

The line-up, which also includes former jockey Willie Carson and ex-Emmerdale star Lorraine Chase, was officially revealed today although many of the names had already leaked out.

Cotton, who plays Sean Tully in Coronation Street, said he has had treatment to help him cope with the horrors he will have to face.

"I have a morbid fear of flying, I don't like heights and I am claustrophobic.

"I have had hypnotherapy and I have also been to therapy to face my fears," he said.

The show returns on Sunday with the contestants all heading into the Australian jungle to face an array of bugs and challenges over the next three weeks.

Starr, 68, has undergone surgery following a heart attack in recent months but did not foresee any problems. "It will be fine," he said.

And he admitted his motivation for taking part in the show was simply to return to the spotlight.

"I am not going to lie. I am doing this to raise my profile. I want to get my profile up and anyone who says anything different is lying," he said.

Powers, 69, who is best known for her TV series Hart To Hart alongside Robert Wagner, has also had health problems after being treated for lung cancer.

But she said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to show there is life after cancer - and the benefits of good detection early on."

Poynter, 23, said he jumped at the chance to appear. His friend Judd has been wowing the judges on BBC1's Strictly and is a strong contender to win this year.

Poynter said: "We have got a gap in our diaries at the moment and I thought it would be a lot of fun."

He said he was advised to take part by his friend Matt Willis - formerly of boy band Busted - and a past winner of ITV1's I'm A Celebrity.

"When I told him I was going to do it, he told me I had to. He said he had the best night's sleep ever under the stars."

Wright, who has now left ITV2 hit The Only Way Is Essex, reckoned taking part in I'm A Celebrity would show him in a new light.

"It's a great new challenge for me and I hope people will see me other than just the guy off Towie," said the 24-year-old.

This year show bosses have opted for an older profile for the series - again hosted by Ant and Dec, who have just signed a new two-year deal with ITV - with four of the contestants in their 60s.

Chase said she wanted to take part to challenge herself as she got older.

"I turned 60 this year and I really felt I needed to do something to stretch myself and get braver," said the former model who found fame in 1970s Campari ads and later starred in sitcom The Other 'Arf.

"I have always wanted to learn how to ride a motorbike and go backpacking, but the treadmill of life has meant that I just haven't organised it myself."

But Carson - who will celebrate his 69th birthday next week - said he was taking part just for the thrill, and to boost his "street cred", rather than to rejuvenate his career.

"I have nothing to sell nor a career to re-resurrect. When I get back from the jungle, I will put my feet up and I shouldn't think I will do anything or try to do anything else," he said.

Also taking part is Olympic silver medal-winning javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread. And providing youthful glamour this year will be TV presenter and dancer Jessica Jane Clement - who has appeared in BBC3's The Real Hustle.

Each year the stars have had to face a range of grisly tasks which have included eating testicles and eyeballs, as well as having cockroaches, spiders and rats crawling over them. Some also skydive into the jungle before trekking to the camp.

This year's contestants have already flown out to Australia to prepare for their arrival on site. They will then be dropped in at the weekend ready for the start of the series on Sunday evening.

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