SARAH Ferguson was due to appear on this year’s I’m A Celeb but talks fell through when she refused to talk about her ex-husband Prince Andrew.
The Duchess of York was set to sign one of the ITV1 show’s biggest contracts.
The 64-year-old wanted producers to make sure she wasn’t asked about Andy, who she still lives with despite their divorce in 1996.
A senior ITV source said: “Executives pulled out all the stops to make a big name for themselves and came agonizingly close to completing the deal with the Duchess.”
“But part of the appeal of finding someone with an interesting life story is that there is always the opportunity to share it with your campmates.
“For, the prospect of being embarrassed in front of millions of viewers at home was just too much. In the end, neither side was willing to give in.”
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Fergie – mother of Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice – remained loyal to Andrew in the Jeffrey Epstein pedo scandal and claims the duke slept with 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre.
Last year, 45-year-old former rugby player Mike Tindall, who is married to the king’s niece Zara, took part in the show and remained largely discreet about his royal connections.
Yesterday, stars of this year’s series, including singer Marvin Humes, food critic Grace Dent and former EastEnders actress Danielle Harold, landed at Brisbane Airport ready to take on the challenges of the Australian jungle.
Fergie’s spokesman denied the claims last night, saying: “There was no such approach, she has not considered appearing and no discussions of the proposed nature have taken place.”
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Former EastEnders actress Danielle Harold, 31, arrived Down Under ready to soak up the Australian sunshine – and said she couldn’t wait to ditch her fake tan and make-up.
And she joked: “I’m just here to surf with Nigel Farage.
“I heard this is a really good place.”