I’m A Celebrity casting Mike Tindall a clever move says royal expert


King Charles and Mike Tindall

There are questions over whether King Charles has been consulted about Mike Tindall’s rumoured appearance on I’m A Celebrity (Picture: PA/Wire Image)

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! casting Mike Tindall has been labelled a smart move by a royal expert, who reckons he has been ‘underused’ by the monarchy.

Rumours have been swirling that the former England rugby player, who is married to the late Queen’s grand-daughter Zara Tindall, is set to jet off to the Australian jungle to take part in the reality show.

If true, he would become the first royal family member to take part in the hugely popular series, but The Times is reporting that he ‘did not seek’ permission from the new king.

However royal expert Duncan Larcombe says that it was ‘hard to believe’ that the Tindall’s would not have consulted King Charles.

‘I think it’s hard to believe that Mike and Zara, who would have made this decision together, would have agreed to this without checking with the new king,’ he exclusively tells Metro.co.uk.

‘That is a piece of family protocol.’

EMBARGOED TO 2200 THURSDAY APRIL 29 File photo dated 30/07/11 of Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips emerging from Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh after their wedding. Mike Tindall, , Patron of Cure Parkinson's, has spoken about the devastating effect Parkinson?s disease has had on his father and the isolation his parents have faced during the pandemic during Parkinson's Awareness Month. Issue date: Thursday April 29, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Parkinsons. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips at their wedding in 2011 (Pictured: Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

Part of the England team who won the 2003 World Cup, Tindall married Zara in 2011 and the couple now have three children—Mia, eight, Lena, four, and Lucas, one.

‘You can argue that if Mike hadn’t met Zara, he probably would have been in the jungle years ago and it’s right up his street,’ Larcombe said.

‘The reason I don’t have a problem with it and why I don’t think the palace would either is the fact that Mike Tindall won a Rugby World Cup. He has a successful broadcasting career and this is about him being an ex-rugby player, and plenty of them have been in the jungle.’

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Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left and Prince Louis, react with Mike Tindall, during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, in London, Sunday June 5, 2022, on the last of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. The pageant will be a carnival procession up The Mall featuring giant puppets and celebrities that will depict key moments from Queen Elizabeth II???s seven decades on the throne. Keir Starmer sits at left in the second row. (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

A royal expert says I’m A Celebrity casting Mike Tindall could actually be supported by the royal family (Picture: AP)

Larcombe went on to say that he thought Tindall was a ‘huge asset’ who was ‘really underused by the Royals’.

‘He’s been on the scene as long as the Princess of Wales . . . [and while] Prince Harry used to be the family’s court jester, we saw a side of Mike at the Jubilee when he was just being Uncle Mike playing with the kids.

‘While he isn’t a blood royal, I bet he is going to entertain the rest of the family and I would bet the vast majority of them would tune in.’

This wouldn’t be the first time the family forayed into reality television, although they’d likely want to forget about the first time.

Back in 1987, Prince Edward, Princess Anne, the Duke of York and the Duchess of York took part in an on-off charity event, The Grand Knockout Tournament, which also featured various sporting and showbusiness stars.

Dressed in medieval costumes, games included players dressing up as giant vegetables and another included them throwing fake hams at each other.

Although it raised over £1million for charity, it was panned and ridiculed.

‘I don’t see a problem with Mike [going on I’m A Celeb], but it’s a risk knowing what happened with It’s a Knockout,’ Larcombe says.

‘But given the nature of the show where in some series’ [of I’m A Celeb] over the years some celebrities have really hit rock bottom and have got hungry or got drunk on a thimble of wine.

‘It’s not unheard of for contestants to forget they are on TV and if that were to happen and Mike Tindall started telling what everyone thinks of everyone else in the royal family then that would be really embarrassing, but Mike is a professional so I doubt he would do that.’

Channel 4 undated handout photo of  Mike Tindall, one of the contestants in this year's Channel 4 reality sport show, The Jump.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 27, 2015. Photo credit should read: Todd Anthony/Channel 4/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Tindall was a contestant on The Jump in 2015 (Picture: Todd Anthony/Channel 4)

This isn’t Tindall’s first taste of reality TV either. Back in 2015 he appeared on The Jump and Bear Grylls: Mission Survive.

However, if he does end up on this series, it will be coming just weeks after the fifth, and likely explosive, season of The Crown is released.

While Tindall might be able to rustle up some support for the royals, Larcombe says it probably won’t be enough to distract from whatever unfolds on the Netflix drama series.

‘I don’t think the royals sit there looking at the TV Times giving it that much thought but The Crown has been a thorn in the side of the family for several years now,’ Larcombe notes.

‘I remember a time where The Crown was about Princess Margaret’s gin-drinking days, but it’s now right there in the root canal surgery of the family if you like and it doesn’t get more sensitive in the days leading up to Diana’s death.

‘That show is about to rip raw that hideous period in history and put its own spin on it, which isn’t nice for the royals.’

But, he says, seeing Tindall put through his paces might offer them some comic relief.

Recalling an encounter years ago in Australia with the now-King, Larcombe joked that Charles had his own chance at a Bushtucker Trial.

‘I was once in Australia with Prince Charles and it was my job to try and persuade him to eat a witchetty grub,’ he remembers.

‘He took it but didn’t eat it, and I remember the photographer ended up being the one to eat it.

‘I’m sure Charles would absolutely laugh his head off watching Mike Tindall having to do something like that. He can’t do it, but I think he would be delighted that Mike could.’

Metro.co.uk previously contacted a spokesperson for ITV for this story.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! returns to ITV next month.

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