Eric Bristow says three weeks of darts will be easy after surviving the I'm A Celebrity jungle

Last Updated: 12/12/12 11:42am

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Eric Bristow can't wait to swap the jungle for Alexandra Palace - because it means he can watch some other people suffer!

The former world darts champion has spent the last three weeks taking part in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here, sleeping rough in the Australian outback and surviving on a diet of basic rations.

His every move was followed by TV cameras, but he's now looking forward to turning the microscope on the current stars of the sport as part of the Sky Sports commentary team at the World Darts Championship.

And he says he'll enjoy a few home comforts while the players take part in three weeks of intense competition.

He told skysports.com: "I love the three weeks of the World Championship because I can watch everybody else struggle now.

"The jungle is much harder than the World Championship. I'll be eating nice food and at Alexandra Palace I can have a cup of coffee or tea whenever I want!

"I love being back at Sky because it keeps me involved in the sport I love. There's 72 players at the World Championship and it's 17 days so it's a long tournament, but it's a great one. It's a brilliant tournament."

Bristow will have just over a week to prepare for the World Championship and admits he's had a lot of attention since returning to the UK.

He finished fourth behind actress Charlie Brooks, singer Ashley Roberts and boxer David Haye and says he's glad he took part after snubbing the opportunity in the past.

"The reaction's been great. In my little town, Leek, everybody's been coming up to me to say I did well and it was a pleasure to watch it. They've been telling me I was mad, but they like the things I said."
Eric Bristow

"I was asked to go into the jungle about six years ago and I didn't do it back then, but this time my kids talked me into it," he said.

"They know I'm nuts and they said to go for it. I think they were right in the end and I'm glad I went. It was an experience. That show's been running 12 years and there's only been 144 people in that jungle.

"I enjoyed it. I didn't want to go out early and I didn't do that. You dream of winning it, but as long as you put up a good show you don't mind. I came fourth, so that was alright, but you always get competitive. As they start going out you want to go further don't you?

"But the reaction's been great. In my little town, Leek, everybody's been coming up to me to say I did well and it was a pleasure to watch it. They've been telling me I was mad, but they like the things I said. It's been lovely."

Boost

Bristow, nicknamed the Crafty Cockney, hopes his appearance on the show will boost interest in darts ahead of the World Championship, which starts on Friday December 14.

But with all Alexandra Palace tickets for the post-Christmas sessions already sold out, he says it doesn't need much of a push from him.

"Darts is popular anyway," he said. "It's the second most popular sport on Sky anyway [after football], but it's nice that I've gone in and done it.

"We look like machines on TV - like most other sportspeople - but we're human beings in the end. Hopefully it will do darts a bit of good.

"Perhaps they might invite another player in there, but you've got to be mentally strong if you're going to go into that sort of thing; you've got to be able to go without food and not be frightened of insects. Keith Deller is frightened of snakes so he could never have done it!"

Alexandra Palace has attracted plenty of famous faces over the years with the likes of Stephen Fry, Robin van Persie and even Prince Harry joining the crowd.

But will any of Bristow's new famous friends be in attendance this year?

"A few of them might turn up if they're off," he said.

"Hugo [Taylor] said he might turn up and Dave Haye and Charlie, who won it, might come along. It's a busy time over Christmas and New Year with families and all that, so it's easier said than done.

"But people like the darts. It's a night out and people know when they come along that the atmosphere's fantastic."

The World Darts Championship 2013 starts on Friday December 14, live on Sky Sports HD

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