Im A Celeb line-up almost saw Royal Family member join before ITV fall-out

ITV bosses almost landed a legendary member of the Royal Family for the upcoming series of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, it has been reported.

The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, had reportedly been in talks to go on the reality show in Australia, which kicks off on Sunday (November 19). However, discussions are said to have fallen through when she insisted she would not be talking about her ex-hubby Prince Andrew.

Had the deal gone ahead, Sarah's appearance would have been one of the biggest in the show's history. But the 64-year-old made sure producers knew she would not be talking about her former partner, with whom she still lives despite having called time on their marriage in 1996.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew 'lonely' since Queen died and 'misses mum a lot', Fergie reveals

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An insider close to the hit ITV show claimed that bosses were trying everything to get her to join the cast, but talks eventually collapsed. "Execs pulled out all the stops to get a huge name and were agonisingly close to sealing the deal with the Duchess," the insider claimed.

"But part of the attraction of getting someone with an interesting life story is that there’s always the possibility of sharing it with the campmates." The source added to The Sun: "For Fergie, the prospect of being put on the spot with millions watching at home was just too much. Neither side was willing to budge in the end."

However, despite the claims made by the ITV insider, a spokesperson for the royal shut down the allegations. In a statement, the representative said: "There has been no such approach, she did not consider appearing and no discussions of the sort suggested have taken place."

If the deal went ahead, Sarah would have been the second member of the Royal Family to join the show. Last year, Mike Tindall, 45, who is married to King Charles ' niece Zara joined the line-up.

During the run of the show, Mike kept mum on his relationship with Zara, as well as his own connections to the royals. The ex-rugby player eventually finished in fourth place, just missing out on the final.

This year's star-studded cast was revealed by ITV earlier this week ahead of the show's launch this weekend. Amongst the famous faces are controversial politician Nigel Farage and sister of legendary singer Britney Spears, Jamie Lynn.

I'm A Celebrity launches on November 19 at 9pm ITV1 and ITVX.

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