Chris Kamara is planning to go on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
The Sky Soccer Saturday pundit says he has been approached to do the show several times. But he has so far turned the offers down as he doesn’t want to miss out on the football.
“I’ve always said I’ll do I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – but only after I’ve left Sky,” revealed Kammy, whose infectious enthusiasm and matchday report bloopers – such as Spurs are “fighting like beavers” – have made him a national treasure.
He added: “I don’t want to go to them and ask for time off to do that yet, as they’ve showed a lot of loyalty towards me. I also don’t want to be in the jungle while football is going on as I’d miss it too much.
“Although, I wouldn’t have minded this time round as the football has not been as exciting as it normally is.
“I was thinking about doing Strictly Come Dancing, but that’s out of the window after watching Kelvin Fletcher do it last year,” adds Kammy, who impressed viewers when he did Strictly’s Sport Relief special in 2018.
“I scratched it off the board straight away and thought: ‘I’m not going to embarrass myself’. He was better than the professionals! Plus, my back is dodgy these days!”
Kammy, who had a lengthy playing career as a midfielder for the likes of Swindon, Brentford, Stoke, Leeds and Bradford before becoming a pundit, says he’s “desperate” to see football supporters back in the stands.
“It’s got to happen soon,” he adds. “The atmosphere at some of the grounds is eerie.
“A lot of the games are like practice matches and I understand why that is from the players’ perspectives.
“They get to the ground, get ready on the other side of the stadium from the opposing team, play and get back on the coach without really seeing anyone.
“The buzz has gone, and it’s not football as we know it. But now with some of the clubs being able to get a few fans back, hopefully it’ll show that they can handle it and then we can start moving onwards and upwards.”
Kammy says he never expected to have success as a pundit, but gave it a shot during his spell in management.
“I first went on Sky when Bradford became promoted under my time in 1996,” he says.
“After that, I became the go-to guy when there was a Championship game on.
“After being sacked as Stoke manager two years later, Sky started giving me a load of work.
“I thought it would be a temporary thing and that I would end up being a football manager if I could be getting that sort of work – but I’ve been at Sky ever since and it’s great.”
Last year, Kammy, 62, had a surprise hit when he turned his hand to music and released his big-band album, Here’s To Christmas.
It reached No8 in the charts, and he’s back to spread some festive cheer with his follow-up … And A Happy New Year.
The first single released from the album was a cover of Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, featuring the band’s lead singer Roy Wood – but his appearance on it wasn’t originally planned.
“When I started singing it, I absolutely loved the big-band version,” says Kammy.
“But my only worry was that Roy might hate it because it can be difficult to do good covers of iconic songs.
“Luckily, Roy loved it – and he didn’t just give his consent for me to cover it, he also said he’d introduce me at the beginning, which was surreal. It’s just incredible to think that the legend Roy Wood is on one of my songs. I’m really chuffed with it.”
With his music career, Kammy has joined the ranks of singing footballers – a club that also includes Kevin Keegan, Glenn Hoddle, Chris Waddle and Paul Gascoigne. And he reveals he’d love to duet with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi one day.
“He’s my current hero, so I’d like to get him on board,” says Kammy. But Messi and I hardly ever speak, never mind sing, so maybe that’s a bit too far-fetched.”
Above all, though, he would love the chance to sing with his all-time hero, Sir Elton John.“
"When I was a kid growing up I loved playing the piano and when Elton came along it was great, because he wasn’t just amazing on the piano but he was a football fan as well,” says Kammy.
“My ultimate dream would be to perform with Elton – us singing Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me together. People say: ‘Never meet your heroes’. But I did a few years ago at Watford FC’s ground, Vicarage Road, and he was everything I could have hoped for and more.”
Kammy’s singing career came about after he appeared on the BBC show All Together Now in 2019, singing Elton’s Your Song.
And he puts his popularity down to the fact that he is “up for anything” and doesn’t take himself, or his job, too seriously.
“It’s important to have a laugh and I think the fans do appreciate that,” says Kammy.
“I don’t mind being known for the funny phrases and have people shout ‘unbelievable Jeff!’ at me. I’m game for trying my hand at anything.
“Since I stopped playing football my career has just gone onwards and upwards, and I never take anything for granted.”
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