Harry Redknapp has been crowned king of the jungle after winning I’m A Celebrity 2018.
The former West Ham and Spurs manager beat Inbetweeners actress Emily Atack and Doctor Who star John Barrowman in tonight’s live final.
The 71-year-old, who admitted he had never watched I’m A Celebrity before, said: "Good show ain’t it. I’m going to watch it in the future."
Harry started to tear up and got very emotional when speaking about his beloved wife Sandra just moments before they were reunited on the bridge.
Speaking about being separated from The much-loved campmate said: "Very difficult. It wasn’t easy."
Harry became a fan favourite by telling great stories, getting stuck into trials and having viewers in tears as he regularly described how his partner Sandra of 54 years meant the world to him.
He said: "It was tougher than I expected. No one gives you anything. The food is not the greatest. I made many good friends. It has been an unbelievable experience."
Harry confessed he thought their was a van round the corner where he could get a bacon sarnie.
The football manager said: "I thought we’d get a nice bit of grub every night. I thought there was a caravan behind, I swear. I said to my wife – they aren’t just starving, they’ll shout ‘cut’."
Bookmakers had Harry as favourite to win from early on during his three week stint in camp and he was 1-8 odds on going into last night’s final.
Ladbrokes’ spokesman Alex Apati said: "Harry won over the hearts of a nation early on in the series and his price has only ever shortened since. Never before have we seen a contestant head into the final weekend with odds so short, so it’s hard to say we’re surprised at the outcome!"
Speaking before the final, Harry said: “It’s been a great experience, I’ve loved it. It’s been amazing. My mates all said ‘you’ll last two days Harry’, that I’d miss my family and football and I’m still here today. I have laughed and laughed and laughed, it’s been brilliant. I can’t wait to kiss Sandra and have a shower.”
Harry is planning a “jungle book” and has scored other deals which will make much more than his £500,000 appearance fee on I’m A Celebrity.
Last night, even before the series winner was announced, show sources said he was already the real winner when it came to earning power.
The former football manager is set to reveal exactly what went on in camp in a new autobiography covering the past five years.
He has already written five books in the past and is expected to add a sixth with more about I’m A Celebrity and his personal life with Sandra.
It is understood several publishers think it could be a bestseller and want to make offers.
Harry’s family are also winners when it comes to I’m A Celebrity – as he will shower them with Christmas gifts after his jungle adventure.
Despite huge earnings Harry insists he is not too bothered about having loads in the bank .
Explaining why he is not fussed about being rich, he said in his 2014 autobiography: “I go to a hole in the wall, I’ve got a number memorised somewhere, I get £150 out, put it in my pocket and I’m happy. As long as I’ve got £150, I never worry.
“Sandra hides our bank statements most of the time. We’re paying for the grandkids to do this and that, we put some of them through school, and I don’t know the half of it. When a bill comes in that I might not like, Sandra probably pays it, then tears it up. What Harry doesn’t know won’t hurt him – that seems to be the policy. My dad wouldn’t have been any different.”
Harry, who had never watched the show before, won viewers over from the start with his brilliant anecdotes and love of his wife Sandra.
Hours before he entered camp he told the Mirror: “We were going out for four years, we’ve been married 50 years. The secret? Just find someone you love. I love being with my wife. I love every day, just being with her. I’m not embarrassed to say that. I love her so much, I’ve been very lucky. Jamie and Mark my sons say I’ve won the lottery. I think they’re right.”
In episode three he explained how he met Sandra, telling John Barrowman: “Me and my mate Macca saw these two lovely girls and I said to Macca shall we have a dance with those two.
“Macca is a good looking geezer and I look back on it now and think Sandra must have seen us both coming over and thought ‘I hope I ain’t got him’ (referring to himself) and she went for me, 54 years later we’re still going strong. And Macca ended up as an undertaker so really Sandra had the better deal in the long term.”
Campmates who left the show said he spoke of her every day as “my life” and when she was allowed briefly into camp as part of a reunion earlier this week it left Harry in tears and melted people’s hearts.
Harry also built up an unlikely friendship with Noel Edmonds when he arrived as a late entry and was Emperor in a task and chose to make Harry his advisor.
The pair got to sleep on beds in their own quarters and laughed and joked together before taking on a gruesome but memorable eating trial called Nero to zero.
After leaving the show, Noel told how he made his pal laugh saying: “Harry said ‘I didn’t laugh when I was a full-time football manager’, he said the stress and the strain and how quickly you are exposed to people hating you impacted on him and he couldn’t sleep.
Then he said ‘I became a miserable b*stard. I have not laughed this much until I met you’.
Noel also says there is an offer for the pair to make their own TV show next year if Harry wants to sign up.
But before any deals are done, Harry is expected today to tuck into some of the foods he loves but has missed out on – stew and dumplings, cheese rolls and jam roly poly which he mentioned almost daily.
Giving a farewell speech earlier this week as the evictions began, Harry said: "I’ve felt so at home here and loved every minute being around you all. There is not one person here I could say anything bad about, every one of you has been incredible to me and to each other.
"It’s been an unbelievable experience. I don’t understand what you are going on about but I love every one of you."
I’m A Celebrity airs tonight on ITV at 9pm
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I’m A Celebrity 2018
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