Snooker legend Steve Davis is being backed to win this year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here by the North Lancs Training Group.
The snooker ace is a big supporter of the group, based in Accrington, and visits 10 times a year to help motivate youngsters to take up apprenticeships.
The NLTG has been training young people for over 40 years and provides apprentiships, further education and employment opportunities.
Chris Lovell, 46, is the NLTG’s study programme manager and has become good friends with the six-times world champion since they met.
He said: “I first met Steve back in 1997 when he attended an annual charity snooker event the NLTG used to host.
“Over the years he has got more and more involved and I am now good friends with him.
“He is a really friendly down to earth guy and we are very lucky to have someone like him championing the NLTG.
“He was a hero of mine growing up, I used to watch him all the time on TV. It’s a bit mad that he now stays at my house when he comes up to do some work for us.”
Chris said that his family and colleagues were all rooting for Steve to be crowned King of the Jungle.
The dad of four said: “My children just know him as Steve so it is quite surreal for them seeing him on the TV.
“It’s early days yet but my family, and everyone at the NLTG, are all rooting for him.”
Asked if the snooker champ could go the whole hog in the dreaded bushtucker trials, Chris laughed and said: “I know he will have a go at everything.”
In 2011, Steve told the Observer: “What the NLTG does effectively is get kids into employment so when they asked me to come up to help raise awareness of apprenticeships it was something I wanted to do.
“I feel quite fortunate to know people in this area and they are really nice to get on with.
“I like a drop of beer so when I’m up here I like to find some good pubs with local ale.”