‘I might pretend to support Newcastle’: Former Sunderland star hopes to win over Ant & Dec on I’m a Celeb

The former Sunderland star joked that pretending to be from Tyneside may gain her favours in any tricky trials from hosts Ant & Dec.

Former Sunderland and England international footballer Jill Scott has admitted she might have to ‘pretend to support Newcastle’ to gain favours from Ant & Dec on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

The cast for the hit ITV show has been confirmed today, with the series set to return to Australia this year and due to begin on screens this Sunday, November 6. The first 10 contestants have been announced, with more due to enter the competition once it has begun, and Jill Scott is one of the names on the list.

The 35-year-old was part of the triumphant Lionesses squad that won the Euro 2022 title this summer and announced her retirement shortly after. Scott was born and raised in Sunderland, making her first professional appearance for the Black Cats in 2004.

The star would then go on to play for Everton, Manchester City and Aston Villa in a sparkling career. Scott also made 161 appearances for England between 2006 and 2022.

Speaking on a promotional video for the new I’m a Celeb series, Scott said: “Some of the stuff on the eating trial looks horrible, but I do joke and say I’ve had my mum’s lasagne so I might be okay... she’ll kill us for that.

“Hopefully Ant & Dec, because we are fellow North East people, might help us a little bit. I might have to pretend I support Newcastle.”

Despite her allegiances being strong with the red-and-white side of the North East, Scott has admitted she comes from a family whose footballing opinions are split. Speaking to the Roker Report in 2019 she said: “My family were quite split actually. My Dad is Newcastle, because he was born there but moved to Sunderland, so because of that my brother supported Newcastle, and although my sister didn’t really like football, she supported Sunderland. It was a split household on loyalties, so derby days were interesting!”

Whether a Tynesider or Wearsider, fans of the ITV show in the North East will just be glad to have someone from the region represented. Last month NewcastleWorld ran a feature looking at the lack of contestants from this part of the world on Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK this year.

Jill Scott is a Lionesses legend (Image: Getty Images)

Recent times have seen stars including Choriza May and Chris Ramsey on the shows, but in 2022 not one contestant, judge or presenter had come from the North East. Check out the interactive map below.

That was all going to change, of course, when I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! hits screens on Sunday - an earlier start date than usual to avoid clashes with the World Cup this winter. Geordie duo Ant & Dec will return to host the hit show for what will be its 22nd series.

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Alongside Jill Scott, the other nine celebrities confirmed for this year’s series are Babatunde Aléshé, Boy George, Charlene White, Chris Moyles, Mike Tindall, Olivia Atwood, Owen Warner, Scarlette Douglas and Sue Cleaver.