Chris Kamara thanks Ben Shephard ‘it wouldn’t have been possible without you’
Former footballer Chris Kamara shared his “big regret” over not taking part in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! ahead of the highly anticipated launch of the 2023 series this weekend.
The 65-year-old commentator said he had been approached to take part in the ITV show on a number of occasions but repeatedly turned it down.
Now, Chris says he can no longer take part following his Apraxia diagnosis – a motor disorder caused by damage to the brain that significantly affects speech.
Writing in his new autobiography, Kammy: My Unbelievable Life, Chris said: “I struggle to watch myself in my pre-apraxia days – not that I was ever a big fan of watching myself on TV in the first place.
“I haven’t had a trawl through YouTube, but I have many happy memories to carry me through, such as the six years I appeared on Saturday Night Takeaway with the brilliant Ant and Dec.
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“I’d have seen even more [happy memories] had I said yes to the regular requests to go on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! but I always turned the jungle down because of my commitment to Soccer Saturday and Goals on Sunday.
“My intention was to do it one day, once my Sky contract came to an end, but I’m in no shape to do so now, sadly.
“Neither my body nor mind could cope. I couldn’t face hearing the words, ‘Chris Kamara is exempt from this task due to health issues’. No chance. It’s a big regret.”
The football legend left Sky Sports last year after the effects of his diagnosis worsened.
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Appearing on Good Morning Britain last week, the former Sky Sports presenter said he felt “ashamed” of his complex speech problems.
He told viewers: “My apologies to everybody out there who has got a speech condition because it does not define who you are.
“I get upset talking about it because I was in denial, I was ashamed that I could not speak.”
The father-of-two then began to cry as host Susanna Reid took his hand and said: “You have nothing to be ashamed about. You’ve done so much to inspire other people.”
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