I’M A Celeb viewers know Nick Knowles as the vest-wearing hard man of the jungle – but in the Nineties he was a waistcoat-clad traffic reporter called “Nicky Knowles, the man who knows his cones”.
And as his corny riffs about the Basingstoke ring road suggest, the 56-year-old was the original Alan Partridge long before Steve Coogan’s character hit our screens.
Old footage of the DIY SOS star emerged from his days alerting viewers in South East England about tailbacks on local news show Meridian Tonight.
Nick tells viewers: “If you’re stuck in Cone City – that’s the Basingstoke ring road – it’s your own fault, you ought to know better by now.”
Tapping away on a tiny computer, he adds: “If you’re waiting for a loved one to come home along the M4 or the M25 you may as well give their dinner to the dog, they’re gonna be a long time.”
Dressed in a shirt and tie with a mustard coloured waistcoat, the star goes on: “Cones have been sprouting on the M25, causing delays on the M4 where the motorways meet.”
Referring to the news programme’s hosts, he concludes: “All flights at Heathrow are normal, but who’d like to be flying out to the Caribbean when you can be bathing in the warm smiles of Andy and Mai?”
The clip, filmed in January 1993 pre-dates the first appearance of cringeworthy TV reporter Alan Partridge in the BBC’s current affairs parody The Day Today by more than a year.
Nick had an impressive career as a journalist at Meridian and was the first reporter on the scene when the IRA bombed the Royal Marine barracks in Deal, Kent.
He then went on to host a sex advice programme called Confidential, before teaming up with Carol Vorderman to present Put It To The Test.
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The TV host – and now chart-topping crooner – worn an army of fans in the jungle after unselfishly offering up his luxury item of a pillow to struggling Anne Hegerty.
Telling his campmates he chose to bring the pillow so he could lend it to whoever was in need, Nick became a hero on Twitter.
One fan wrote: “@MrNickKnowles what a man! 👏🏻 what a lovely heart warming thing you’ve done! I’m filled with happiness that your looking after Ann #thegoverness.”
Another posted: “Nick Knowles really does have a heart of gold and what’s just as lovely is seeing that beaming smile on Anne’s face 😰🥰.”
He’s also not short of female admirers, with one fan declaring: “Not arsed what anyone says Nick Knowles is a sexy b*****.”
Another squealed: “Nick Knowles in them white Jeans is daddy material and that’s all I have to say.”
Listen to new podcast Jungle VIP, talkRADIO’s cheeky, no-holds-barred take on the action Down Under. Hosted by Jamie East with daily guests, including former campmates and celeb reality TV fans the gang will dish the dirt on the REAL behind-the-scenes gossip. Read more here.
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