Only recently, Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpine was confirmed – after much speculation – as part of the star-studded 2017 I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! line-up.
However, the 33-year-old actress, who has played Fiz Stape in the Manchester-based soap since 2001, has since revealed the heartbreaking reason behind her decision to go on the jungle series – her late father Tom McAlpine.
Jennie revealed the tragic news in March that her dad had passed away at home in a touching Twitter tribute to the mental health campaigner.
And talking ahead of her debut on the hit ITV jungle series, the soap star revealed: “I lost my Dad earlier this year and that was a big thing.
I’m a Celebrity 2017: Jennie McAlpine is entering the jungle [ITV]
I’m a Celebrity 2017: Jennie McAlpine has heartbreakingly opened up about her dad’s tragic death [Wenn]
“But I knew he would have told me to do it.
“He always told me to do stuff and he always encouraged me.
“He kept saying: ‘Give it a go to find out if you are good enough or not’. And so that was a big part of it.”
While she added: “I know Albert is going to have an amazing experience as he is coming to Australia with my husband and I. That will be lovely. I am feeling excited about it all but also nervous.
I’m A Celebrity 2017: Jennie McAlpine spotted arriving at Brisbane airport ahead of her jungle stint
I’m A Celebrity 2017: Jennie McAlpine and husband Chris Farr, pushing their son Albert [Wenn]
“For me it is about stepping out of my comfort zone and challenging myself.
“I am always telling Albert to give things a go even at his little age and so now I can say to everyone: ‘They asked me to do I’m A Celebrity and I did it’.”
Despite the hit ITV jungle reality series not even starting yet, bookies have already predicted early favourites to win with Jennie and Jamie Lomas leading the way.
Jennie, who is the 4-1 favourite, has been the most popular selection with leading bookmaker Coral, to win I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! 2017 ahead of the show launch on Sunday.
I’m A Celebrity 2017: Jennie McAlpine and Jamie Lomas are the bookies’ early favourites to win[ITV]
While Jamie is locked at the top of the betting with the Corrie actress at 4-1 too, while Jack Maynard is 6-1 and Amir is the complete outsider at 16-1.
I’m a Celebrity kicks off this Sunday, November 19, at 9pm on ITV.