Simon Gregson speaks out on I’m A Celebrity tension as he admits being ‘late to the party’

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While the atmosphere often got quite intense, with arguments escalating over rice and daily chores, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here 2021 runner-up Simon Gregson dodged it all by avoiding the scene altogether. “I don’t really get into conflict with people,” the 47-year-old has now admitted.

I always seemed to be out of the room

Simon Gregson

“To be honest I was always late to the party.

“I always seemed to be out of the room.”

It sounds as though even his decision to participate in the show might have been in a bid to avoid tension, as Simon – who plays hen-pecked husband Steve McDonald in Coronation Street – claims his family had been quick to pile on the pressure.

“[My wife] Emma and the boys have been on at me for years to do it,” he joked to this week’s OK! magazine.

“I wanted them to shut up about it!”

There was little chance of that happening at home, as former Hollyoaks actress Emma Gleave and the three boys she shares with Simon – Alfie, 14, Harry, 12, and little Henry, five – were ecstatic with excitement at seeing their father on reality TV.

“We were desperate for him to do a trial,” Emma revealed in the pair’s interview.

“The boys were shouting at the screen: ‘Dad, take on a trial!’

“When we knew he was doing one, they had all their friends over and made a night of it with popcorn.

“They absolutely loved the experience.”

There might have been another reason for the boys being glued to the screen, too – as Simon recently revealed that eldest son Alfie has a crush on fellow contestant Frankie Bridge.

Contestants like Naughty Boy regularly sparked criticism from campmates for laziness and behaviour that was judged as over-dramatic during the trials, while Simon gamely agreed to participate.

Even when being pelted with rotten fruit and eggnog, he maintained a smile on his face.

He did receive playful banter from Twitter users, with LynzRochelle joking that he looked “like Beetlejuice after downing the fish eye sherry” – but overall the mood was light.

According to Emma, it looks as if Simon’s other conflict-beating strategy – one he uses in real-life generally – might be avoiding online arguments.

“Simon doesn’t really do social media, so I took it over,” she joked.

“I was saying to him the other day that I didn’t read a single bad comment the whole time he was in there.

“Everyone was loving him.”

Simon has confirmed that he has “definitely made friends for life” in the ITV show.

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