Tony Blackburn didn't expect 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' to have such longevity.

Tony Blackburn remembers his time as King of the Jungle

Tony Blackburn remembers his time as King of the Jungle

The 80-year-old DJ won the first series of the ITV1 jungle reality show when it aired in 2002 but didn't think it would still be on screen more than two decades later and admitted he "wouldn't like" to do it now because of the challenges given to famous faces.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he said: "I thought it was a really good show 21 years ago. It's changed a lot now, it's much more...some of the trials are awful - I wouldn't like to do it now. I thought it would last quite a long time, I'm not sure about 21 years but it still gets a really big audience and, of course, I tune in for [hosts] Ant and Dec because they're so good.

"I just love watching the show because I know what they're all going through when they sit by the fire and they're all arguing. It's not an easy show to do, it's a very tough show, particularly now I think. We did two weeks over there, now they do three. I think two weeks was enough for me but I enjoyed every moment and it really did alter my life because you go in there and it's very peaceful, no phones or anything. The people you're in there with, you have to learn to be yourself on there and I'm looking forward to this next one."

The former 'Top of the Pops' host - who competed against the late Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and singer Darren Day in the jungle - went on to add that he had "no idea" what the show entailed when he signed up for it and admitted that his wife and mother even tried to talk him out of flying over to Australia to take part.

He added: "I had no idea. When I was approached to do the show, I met some of the researchers and they said 'Do you like outdoor life?' and I said 'Not particularly.' They asked me what I'd eat and I said 'No idea, I'm a vegetarian' and so I presumed that they wouldn't want me but they did. My mother and my wife tried to talk me out of it, they said I wouldn't be very good at it. It was an interesting one because we didn't know how the show worked and I don't even remember them telling us we had to do the trials!"

The 23rd series of 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' will air from 9pm on Sunday 19 November, featuring the likes of politician Nigel Farage, 'This Morning' host Josie Gibson, and Britney Spears' sister Jamie Lynn amongst the new contestants.