The bromance between the telly legend and former footie manager has seen TV offers flooding in — and even Noel’s wife Liz has dubbed them “The Chuckle brothers”.
But favourite-to-win Harry, 71, wasn’t always cracking jokes — and Noel, 69, reveals his new pal confessed in the jungle his days at the top of football left him down in the dumps.
A day after leaving the show in a shock first eviction, Noel said: “We had such a laugh, it was great. I think sometimes the others were a bit nonplussed as to why we were laughing.
“He said a wonderful thing, he 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.
“He said, ‘I became a miserable b*****d’. I’ve not laughed this much until I met you.’
“There have been a couple of ideas put forward for a Noel and Harry TV show.
“But my boy is still in there so we will have to wait for him to come out. We did have a laugh and I think judging by what I have heard it went down well with the viewers, the relationship between two old geezers from Essex.”
Noel — who celebrated 50 years in showbiz this year — was still reeling from his exit as he sat in the Gold Coast’s luxury Versace hotel, where contestants go after their stint on the show to recuperate with friends and family.
And he admits he is worried that Harry is struggling with the hunger and physical discomfort.
He said: “I’m still a little bit unhinged, it’s very tiring.
“Harry’s finding it quite tough. He hadn’t seen the show. That was the extraordinary thing.
“I took the p**s out of him. I said, ‘Harry, didn’t you check it out at all?’
“He said, ‘Nah, I thought I was gonna go round the back and have a bacon butty or a cheese roll. I can’t believe it.’”
Harry will have stiff competition for the jungle crown from DIY SOS star Nick Knowles—- who Noel thinks has his eyes firmly on the prize and doesn’t mind infuriating his co-stars as he bids to triumph.
“Nick’s absolutely the most competitive person in there,” Noel continued. “He is on a mission to win it.”
Despite his disappointment at lasting just ten days, Noel seems in good spirits and has a twinkle in his eye. As well as being the highest paid campmate to date, pocketing £600,000 for his stint, he is a big advocate of positive energy and gratitude.
It comes after he suffered with his own battle against depression, even resulting in him attempting suicide after he became the victim of banking fraud which he says cost him millions.
Opening up about his struggles, Noel explains: “I’m not grateful that I got to that dark place.
“I’m relieved that rather than continue down, I seem to have found the trampoline and I came back very quickly, but I’m acutely aware now of what that dark space represents. I would ask people to be very respectful of anyone who says they’re severely depressed and not ridicule people who have attempted to take their life.”
Noel, still fighting Lloyds Bank for £300million, wants to use his experience and cash from the jungle to set up a charity.
He has already donated funds to the Samaritans and counsels people living with depression.
Noel said: “I’m so pleased that there’s been a major shift in the last 12 months where we’re all talking about it.” As well as having his head in the right place, Noel’s toned physique caused a ripple of interest up and down the country.
And he is considering offers to capitalise and share his unique health regime, which includes electromagnetic pulse therapy, exercising several times a day in small chunks and an alkaline diet.
He added: “It is not difficult but it depends what you want to do with your life. And I am so grateful, truly grateful, for the compliments. Next month I am 70 and I am feeling pretty good about it.”
Noel’s suggestion that cancer is caused by “negative energy” caused ructions between him and host Holly Willoughby when he appeared on her and Phillip Schofield’s This Morning sofa back in 2016.
But he insists: “There’s no feud with Phil and Holly. We’re all entitled to an opinion about certain things. We’re all professionals.”
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