EastEnders' Cliff Parisi: 'I'm A Celebrity' snakes less scary than my tax bill

Cliff Parisi is heading into the jungle on Thursday (Credit: PA)
Cliff Parisi is heading into the jungle on Thursday (PA)

Former EastEnders star Cliff Parisi has admitted he is only taking part in I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! to pay his tax bill.

The 59-year-old actor – who starred as Minty Peterson in the BBC soap from 2002 to 2010 and currently plays Fred Buckle in Call The Midwife – revealed he initially turned down the ITV show, but changed his mind when he realised he needed the money.

Asked by The Mirror what persuaded him to sign up, Parisi replied: “The taxman. Yeah, I have got a bill I need to pay. Like everyone at this time of year you go, ‘Oh no! Again. I thought I paid that.’

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“I had a meeting about this earlier on in the year and I thought about it long and hard and said no and then as it crept along to September and I got an estimate for my tax I phoned them up and said, ‘Is it too late to say yes?’ So here I am. I gave myself a bit of a talking to, and then I spoke to the accountant and he made my mind up.

“What is the worst-case scenario? A big snake is gonna bite you or the taxman is gonna bite you. What do you want?”

The father of four is due to enter the jungle with Coronation Street star Andrew Whyment – who plays Kirk Sutherland in the ITV soap – on Thursday night’s show in a surprise twist for the celebrity campmates.

Coronation Street actor Andrew Whyment with his Best Comedy Performance Award during the British Soap Awards 2003 at BBC Television Centre in west London.
Coronation Street's actor Andrew Whyment is also joining the jungle reality show (PA)

Celebrity fees for appearing in the reality show are unconfirmed, but are known to vary depending on their level of fame.

Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Caitlyn Jenner is reportedly being paid £500,000 to take part in this year’s series, the 19th of the show. Footballer Ian Wright is rumoured to be the next highest paid at £400k and Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle’s fee is said to be around £250k.

Read more: I'm A Celebrity's Nadine Coyle opens up on cause of Girls Aloud 'rift'

Boyband singer and former X Factor winner Myles Stephenson is reported to be earning the lowest fee at just £25k.

EastEnder Jacqueline Jossa is rumoured to be earning £75k for her appearance.

According to The Only Way Is Essex star Gemma Collins, who quit the show after just a few days in 2014, contestants are paid in full, even if they drop out.