LONDON (AFP) – Mo Farah is temporarily hanging up his running shoes to take part in British TV reality show “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!”, raising questions over his preparations for next year’s Olympics.
The four-gold Games champion will reportedly be paid an appearance fee of £300,000 (S$529,540) to compete against nine other well-known figures in a contest for the title of King or Queen of the Castle.
The ITV show, which starts on Nov 15, will be staged at Gwrych Castle in Wales rather than its usual location in the Australian jungle due to coronavirus restrictions.
Farah, 37, who is aiming to run the 10,000m in next year’s delayed Tokyo Games, said he hopes to show the British viewing public a different side of himself.
“I’ve watched it on telly and thought to myself I would like to challenge myself and see what I can do – and so that is the whole reason behind it,” said the Somalia-born athlete.
“I know a lot of people will be surprised as they don’t see me in that way. They associate me with running and winning but nothing other than that.
“And my kids have been on at me too, saying ‘I can’t see you doing that dad’, but I want to give it a go, I want to have fun in the camp.”
One of Farah’s competitors will be 2016 Paralympic javelin gold medallist Hollie Arnold.
As on the regular series, the celebrities will undertake gruelling trials and challenges to win food and treats as they battle for the title.
Director of entertainment at ITV Studios Richard Cowles said of the change of country: “Our celebrities will probably have to swop shorts for thermals but they can still look forward to a basic diet of rice and beans and plenty of thrills and surprises along the way.”