EXCLUSIVE: 'Eat kangaroo's penis..? I don't think he'll do it!' I'm A Celeb star Ian Wright's mum says she's shocked soccer legend is going into jungle as he's TERRIFIED of creepy crawlies
Ian Wright's mum says her son will never eat a kangaroo penis and told of her shock that he is going on I'm A Celeb because he's terrified of creepy crawlies.
Nesta Wright says the BBC soccer pundit didn't tell her he was going in the jungle – and she only found out he was starring on the show from watching a TV advert.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline from the South London home he bought for her, Nesta shared adorable childhood photos of Ian as she revealed he may struggle with trials in small spaces because he suffered from asthma when he was growing up.
Cute: Ian Wright's mum Nesta invited MailOnline into her South London home where she shared childhood photos of the football legend ahead of his appearance on I'm A Celeb
'I was so shocked': The mum-of-four said Ian (pictured in his teenage years) didn't tell her he was doing the jungle and she found out he was starring on the show from watching an advert
Mother and son: Nesta, who's now 90-years-old, predicts Ian will never eat kangaroo penis and she's going to kill herself laughing at him taking part in the trials (taken in 2000)
Ready for the challenge: She said Ian, 56, is 'terrified' of creepy crawlies and she fears he will struggle with being in confined spaces after he suffered with asthma as a child
Inviting us into her home, the 90-year-old perched at her dining room table and said: 'Eat a kangaroo's penis? I don't think he'd do it! If he does I'll be very shocked, Jesus Christ!'
'He didn't tell me he was going in the jungle! I saw it on TV but I haven't said a word to him. Of course I am going to watch it.
'He wanted to give us all a surprise and I was so surprised. I was so shocked.
'But I can't wait to see his face with lots of little bugs all over him! I will kill myself with laughter.'
Arriving in Australia: Nesta predicts the sports star will refuse to eat anything that's alive or crawling as he loves his food and 'won't eat any rubbish' (taken this week)
In last year's series former Spurs, West Ham, and Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp was forced to eat a handful of live witchetty grubs to win food for his campmates.
But Ian's mum doesn't believe for a second Ian will be as brave as his former boss – especially when it comes to eating bugs.
She said: 'With his food – he won't eat any rubbish. He loves to eat, proper.
'But he will have to eat the meals they give them otherwise he'll starve. Anything that's alive and crawling around, I don't think he'll eat at all.'
Show hosts Ant and Dec push campmates to the limit with terrifying eating tasks and challenges.
But Nesta is more concerned with Bush Tucker trials that involve tight spaces, as Ian used to suffer with asthma and she worries it could resurface difficult memories.
She said: 'The only thing with Ian is that you know when they go through those little tunnels and stuff like that? – he won't like that.
'When he was a kid he suffered really badly with asthma, he doesn't have it now as an adult but going in those small places with water dripping – it's scary.
'I feel like it might bring back bad memories.'
Happy day: Ian married his second wife Nancy in 2011 and together they share daughters Lola and Roxanne (taken in 2011)
Team spirit: Ian's mum believes the Arsenal legend isn't doing the show for money but because he wants to prove to her that he can do it and not 'chicken out'
Married couple: Nesta says she doubts Ian will miss home but he'll long for a good night's sleep in his own bed (taken in September 2019)
She added: 'The other thing is, what do you call them? Creepy crawlies and stuff like that. He's terrified of those too.
'I don't know if he'll like living in a jungle. But he loves being with other people.
'If he were on his own in there – he'd hate it but because he's with people he'll be fine. He's used to being part of a team.'
She believes Ian, who's being paid an estimated £400,000 to take part in the ITV series, isn't doing it for the cash.
Her prediction is that the former Arsenal legend wants to prove to her in particular that he has what it takes to be crowned King of the Jungle.
Nesta said: 'It isn't really for the money.
'Let me tell you something he'll be going in there to say, 'See! I'm not scared of anything!' He is trying to prove something to me especially.
Digging in: Ian's mum says she knows he will love meeting new people and being part of a team as that's what he's used to
'He knows I would tell him 'you'll chicken out, you won't do that' and he's going to prove me wrong.'
Nesta says Ian's triumphant career as a successful sports star and Match of the Day pundit already proves he has what it takes to go all the way in the competition.
She said: 'He's a fighter. Ian is such a determined person that it might not even bother him.
'He's a fighter': Ian's mum says she's 'so proud' of his career as a footballer but she couldn't bear watching him play live as it made her too nervous
'He will try so hard to win all the stars; he will try his very best. I'm so proud of his career – he tries every single thing.
'He will do anything he can to get through. He's been very successful.'
He's Arsenal's second highest goal scorer with 185 goals and he earned 33 caps for England.
But Nesta, who's also a mum to Ian's siblings Morris, Jeffery and Dionne, said she couldn't bear watching him on the pitch.
She said: 'The thing is when he played in football games; I didn't like to watch them until they were over.
'I didn't like the aggression and I'd be nervous but then someone would say 'Ian's scored' and I'd want to watch the goals.
'I would always go back and watch the goals but only when the game was finished.'
Ian has spoken about fathering eight children by four women, two of which he married and two he didn't.
Sharon Phillips is mum to his eldest boys, Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips. His third son is Brett who he had with another girlfriend.
He married ex-wife Deborah in 1993 and they had son, Stacey, and daughter Bobbi together.
Exes: Ian was previously married to first wife Deborah (pictured) and they have son, Stacey, and daughter Bobbi together
Ian explained in his autobiography A Life In Football that he supports his daughter Coco, born in 2006, but 'plays no other part in her or her mother's life.'
He wed wife Nancy in 2011, and they have two daughters, Lola and Roxanne.
Nesta said that not all of Ian's children will watch him on the show as they're busy with their own careers.
She said: 'His children live all over – some are abroad. His youngest son Stacey is in America and plays rugby and his daughter Bobbi goes to university.
'When it comes to missing home, he won't miss home at all. I don't think he will.
'I think his wife is in Australia so he might see her soon. One thing he'll miss is his own bed.'
Ian joins the likes of EastEnders actress Jacqueline Jossa, singer Nadine Coyle and Olympian Caitlyn Jenner on this year's series.
And Nesta believes Ian, who's a dad of eight children, will get the most enjoyment from meeting new people and being part of a team.
Full lineup: Nesta explained not all of Ian's kids will watch him compete on I'm A Celeb as his son Stacey lives in America and his daughter Bobbi is studying
She said: 'He will love it and love meeting the other campmates.
'He's a friendly guy, very friendly. I hope he gets on with everybody.
'Win or lose, who cares, everybody's in there to try and win. But I would love it if he does!'