Andy Whyment ’s best mate on Coronation Street Alan Halsall says he is the natural King of the Jungle because he “represents your everyday man”.
The actor, who plays Tyrone Dobbs, used to share a flat with Andy before the pair both got in long-term relationships.
And he is excited at the prospect of his pal, who plays Kirk in the ITV soap, being crowned the winner of I’m A Celebrity as bookmakers yesterday made him an odds-on favourite to triumph.
Alan, 37, said: “I think Andy’s doing amazing, he is the exact same person that I see every day just a funny and genuine man."
Alan continued: "He hasn’t been as hangry for food as I thought he may be either. I know he can win.
"Andy represents your everyday man, that people can relate to."
Andy, 38, and Alan’s friendship began in 1993 when they met at a David Johnson theatre workshop in Oldham.
They then became close friends when they ended up working in South Africa together on a Dairylea cheese commercial a few years later.
And they were inseparable when Andy joined Coronation Street in 2000 and Alan took him under his wing having already been on the show since 1998.
He describes him as his "brother from another mother".
Alan was one of the first people Andy told he was going into the jungle.
He said: "Andy told me about I’m A Celebrity when he very first found out he was going in.
"My advice to anyone would be ‘just be yourself’ but I did not need to say this to Andy as he is always himself no matter who he is with.
"He will be missing his wife Nic and the kids the most, closely followed by puddings with custard."
At one point when they were younger and enjoyed partying more, Alan and Andy’s friendship could have got in the way of his relationship with Nichola.
Speaking in OK! Magazine in 2017, Nichola said it took a while before she agree to date Andy. She explained: “He was a bit of an idiot when I first met him. He was single and sharing a place with Al. He was just giving it big time.”
Thankfully both lads have now calmed down and Alan is living with girlfriend and actor Tisha Merry.
Looking ahead Alan also told how Andy has already arranged his post jungle party in Manchester and they will have a modest Chinese.
Last week the Mirror revealed how Andy’s wife Nichola said she was hopeful he would do well on the show when he went in as a late entry alongside ex-EastEnder Cliff Parisi.
She said at the time: “I think it’s fantastic that he is seen as one of the favourites to win the show.
“I would like to think he could win it as he is down to earth, kind and funny a lot of people can relate to him.”
* I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs on ITV at 9:00pm
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