FORMER Latics goalkeeper Mike Pollitt has sent a warning to the stars of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here: “Prepare to get no sleep!”
But it’s not the lack of food that he fears will be keeping them awake, nor the thousands of creepy crawlies, nor even anxieties over the dreaded bushtucker trials.
No, the thing – or person – they’ll have to get used to the most is his one-time Wigan team-mate Jimmy Bullard.
The pair remain great pals after playing together for the club in its first every Premier League season nine years ago.
Both have since retired and while Pollitt took up a place as goalkeeping coach at Latics, Bullard has opted for the jungle and reality TV stardom.
The pair were thick as thieves during their time together at Wigan, assuming the roles of team pranksters.
But Pollitt says Bullard’s antics were something else and thinks the celebrities are in for one hell of a ride when the series starts on ITV1 tomorrow.
“It’ll certainly be more interesting,” said the 42-year-old.
“We all saw what he was like, it was crazy stuff.
“I do feel for his camp-mates because they’ll never get any sleep. He just never shuts up.
“We’ve been in hotels the night before games and you can hear him bouncing about down the corridor at 3am.
“He was so hyperactive, he couldn’t rest but that’s just his nature. The day after he’d get up like nothing has happened and run around the pitch like an absolute lunatic. He had that energy on the pitch too, he was a superb player.
“He’s not changed now either. We went to London last year for our Christmas do and he turned up and he was no different. It was the same as talking to him 10 years ago. He’s not happy unless he’s up to no good.”
Bullard is the bookies’ early favourite to win the show which is filmed in the Australian jungle and hosted by Ant and Dec.
He was almost signed up for the last series but producers opted for snooker legend Steve Davis instead.
Pollitt has many fond and hilarious memories during his time as Bullard’s team-mate. The pair were part of the side which secured Latics’ highest ever league finish and the former goalkeeper puts most of that success down to team spirit.
“There was a great bunch of lads there with the likes of Lee McCulloch, Leighton Baines and Jason Roberts,” he said.
“It was a good place to be at the time, these lads who had come from the lower leagues to the Premier League.
“Jimmy was absolutely crackers though. As soon as I met him I knew what we were in for.
“There were so many great moments, I remember the time Duncan Ferguson whacked Paul Scharner.
“I was at the centre of it all and in the delay in play the cameras showed Jimmy just staring at Ferguson really confused.
“It was surreal but it summed him up. You don’t see characters like him anymore, they’re a dying breed.
“The programme was made for him, he just wants to be centre of attention all the time.
“He’d just to stupid things to get it too. He couldn’t just sit there and chat, he’d come flying in like a maniac.
“There was the famous incident in the changing room where he was filmed naked in the wash basket being pushed around with underpants on his head. He was off his rocker.”
All jokes aside, Pollitt has backed his pal to entertain viewers and his camp-mates in the jungle.
He does think there will be one issue though...
“The only thing that might affect him is the food,” added Pollitt.
“If they start putting rice and beans on every night and he’s sitting there, he’s going to be moaning like hell.
“He’ll be a good character in there though, I’m sure everyone will take to him. He’s quite infectious but it’ll be interesting that’s for sure.
“Once he forgets he’s on television, God knows what will happen.”