Andy Whyment has insisted being voted runner-up on I’m A Celebrity won’t change him – and he will be back at work on Corrie as early as next week.
The 38-year-old, known to millions as Kirk Sutherland on the Cobbles, says he is delighted people have finally seen the real him and beyond his hapless character.
After being reunited with his wife Nichola, Andy said: “I might be in work next week. We’ve got filming next week. We break up on the 20th for two weeks.
“I’m looking forward to getting back and just getting into my normal boring life of just sitting on the sofa, getting home from work, closing the front door and watching telly.
“Corrie’s on series link, yeah, so I’ll be catching up on Corrie. I always do.
“I’ll still remain myself. I’ll still go to Asda on a Friday, do the big shop with Nic. But I know I’m going to get recognized a lot more now, which is, don’t get me wrong, is nice, but it certainly won’t change me.
“I’m happy to do what I do. I don’t want a massive story-line. I love playing Kirk. He’s one of those characters who floats about, but is never heavily involved…
“You can’t play a game in the Jungle and, like I say, I wasn’t after airtime, and, for me, it was a win-win situation. I’m going back to my job that I love. I feel privileged to have been part of Coronation Street for 19 years and, touch wood, that continues for a very long time.
“So it was a win-win situation and I’ve done one of the biggest reality shows in the UK and I’ve come second. It means a lot to me that I’ve come second and they’ve been voting for Andy Whyment and not Kirk from Corrie.”
Andy was seen getting emotional in Sunday night’s final as he waited to be reunited with Nichola. And he had to wait even longer to be back with his two children, Thomas, 11, and Hollie, nine, who greeted him when he arrived at the five-star Palazzo Versace Hotel, where his son told him he “stunk of leaves”.
Andy revealed he broke down at the end of the show as as he was blocked from seeing Nichola for a few minutes as winner Jacqueline Jossa took centre stage.
He said: “As soon as Jac walked down the red bridge to be reunited with her family or whatever, I just burst into tears. I just said, ‘I want Nic. I need to see Nic’.
“I hadn’t seen her before that, so I just burst into tears, just saying, ‘I just want to see her now, I want to see her now.’ They brought her down for me and it was just so nice to see her face because I’ve missed her so, so, so, so much. That’s been the hardest thing.
“I mean, I know I love Nic and my kids to death, but when you’re in there, it’s horrible, not knowing what people are thinking,
“But when I got the letter from home and Nic was saying that she was so proud to be my wife and all that, that kind of like really put my mind at rest and made me feel happy then that everyone is proud of me. Because, like I say, you just don’t know.
“I speak to Nic every single day. Even if I don’t see her, I always FaceTime. I’ve been with her 16 years and to go from that to having no contact whatsoever was really, really tough.
“Ive actually said to her now I’m never leaving them for this amount of time again, because, yeah, that was the hardest thing.”
The pair did discuss the prospect of renewing their wedding vows in 2017 and it is something Andy is as keen to do as ever following their time apart. He added: “I think we definitely will renew our wedding vows at some point, probably a major milestone, like 25 years or something.
“But that’s something I definitely want to do, because if got we got married now, we’d probably do it completely different to how we did it 12 years ago as well.”
Down-to-earth Andy also insisted his appearance fee for I’m A Celebrity would not be spent upgrading his current Kia car, but would instead go on more practical things for him and the family.
He said: “I’m going to pay some of my mortgage off, that’s one of the reasons I did the show. I want to get my mortgage down to five years, so that was the main thing and put some money into savings. Because we love our holidays.
“So Christmas presents, pay some money off the mortgage and holidays.
“Listen. We could have paid our mortgage off years ago but I’ve always said, for me, me and Nic is about making memories with our kids.
“Because, at the end of the day, they are not going to turn around and go, ‘oh I didn’t go on many holidays but my mum and dad had the mortgage paid off when I was five’. It means nothing to them.
“So, we’ve always been holiday, holiday, holiday. People always take the p*** out of me at work, going, ‘oh, you’re always away. You’re always away’.
But we have got our holidays booked up now until next summer and that’s what we have always done. We are going on a cruise in January as a family and I can’t wait.”
As well as being a well known joker in camp, Andy also enjoyed singing and was first up on the mic in The Jungle Arms and has busked in the past.
But despite wowing with his karaoke in camp he will not be following the likes of Bradley Walsh and doing an album.
He said: “There’s no chance of a singing career. Coronation Street has given me a really nice life.
“Coronation Street has been loyal to me and I am loyal to them. I’m looking forward to going back and doing my real job. As long as Coronation Street want me there I will be there. Even now sometimes when I drive up to the gates I still get a massive buzz driving into Coronation Street. If anyone offered me a record deal, thank you, but no thanks.”
Before heading off to spend more time with his beloved family by the pool, Andy paid tribute to new Queen of the Jungle Jacqui.
He said: “It’s been a pleasure getting to know her. When she first came into the Jailhouse, I think she was really struggling, missing her kids and stuff, but then she really grew into it.
“And obviously, she got a lot of trials early on, and she’d have a bit of a cry, just obviously thinking, why do they keep voting for me to do these horrible things? But every time she went out, she came back and she smashed the trials.
“I was really pleased for her to win it. And I just thought, this is a big stepping stone if she goes on to bigger and better things.
“Over the last few days, I’ve really spent a lot of time with Jacqueline, and she’s a really, really lovely woman and I’m really pleased for her that she won.”
Andy also singled out Caitlyn for praise as the pair bonded over being camp leader and deputy.
Andy said with a grin: “My claim to fame, now, is Caitlyn Jenner said, ‘Andy, it’s a first’. I was, like, ‘what?’ and she went, ‘you’re the first man I've ever slept with’. Because, obviously, I shared the penthouse with her. So, now, that is my claim to fame: I’m the first gentleman to sleep with Caitlyn Jenner. Do you know what? She was lovely, she really was, because I didn’t what she going to be like.
“People were talking about getting dresses for awards’ ceremonies, and she was, like, ‘Just get a designer!’ It’s, like, you can probably pay $15,000 dollars for a designer dress, whereas we’re not in that same league as you.
“But I’ve got to say, yeah, she’s got a heart of gold. And man, for a 70 year old, she put some work in, in that camp.”
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