Michael Buerk in I'm A Celebrity 2014: Everything you need to know about the BBC news reader

Buerk is the oldest contestant to enter the jungle this year

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The Independent Culture

Name: Michael Buerk

Age: 68

Occupation: BBC newsreader and war reporter, who currently hosts BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze.

Relationship status: Married

Phobias: Allergic to cats

Interesting fact: Buerk’s reporting of the Ethiopian famine in 1984 inspired the Band Aid charity record.

He says: “I’m a frightful snob and perhaps it’s time for me to take myself less seriously… Maybe doing this is some kind of late midlife crisis!”


Buerk is the oldest contestant going into the jungle this year. A respected reporter, he is now looking to do something completely different and is looking forwards to getting back to basics.

“Not having a phone or a tablet will be a plus for me. When I used to be a foreign correspondent and before instant communication, it was an absolute liberty when you stepped on a plane knowing the foreign desk could not reach you. I absolutely loved that feeling of being autonomous.

“But the big fear for me is boredom. I have never ever been in a situation where I didn’t have anything to read, nor make notes. That will drive me up the wall. I am a reasonably stoic person and so I guess I will have to start counting the fee in my head!”

He hopes he won’t be the first out but, showcasing his sense of humour, conceded the public are “not going to throw out the lovely page three model before me are they?!”

Having seen his fair she of terrible things, Buerk should be well-prepared to face the “horrifying” trials.

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! starts on Sunday 16 November at 9pm on ITV