Ex EastEnders star Cliff Parisi signs up to I’m A Celeb to pay the taxman

Snakes are less scary for Cliff than the taxman!

Former EastEnders star Cliff Parisi, aka Minty on the soap, has revealed he’s heading into I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! to pay the taxman.

The 59-year-old actor, who played Rick ‘Minty’ Peterson on EastEnders from 2002 to 2010, admitted his motivation for joining the ITV reality show in an interview with The Mirror.

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Cliff in his days as Minty in EastEnders

Cliff, who’s also known for playing Fred Buckle in Call the Midwife, said: “What made me sign up? The taxman. I have got a bill I need to pay.

“Like everyone at this time of year, you go, ‘Oh no. Again… ‘ You would think I earn a lot of money but I don’t. I work for the BBC, so it ain’t that big.”

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Cliff continued that he initially turned down an approach to be on I’m A Celeb… but then he saw his tax bill!

“I had a meeting about this earlier on in the year, and I thought about it long and hard and said no.

“And then as I got an estimate for my tax, I phoned them up and said, is it too late to say yes?’”

Fred in Call the Midwife

Cliff getting in the festive spirit in last year’s Call the Midwife Christmas special

Cliff joked that being bitten by a big snake was less scary than getting bitten by the taxman.

It’s thought that Cliff will enter the jungle later today with Coronation Street star Andy Whyment, who plays Kirk.

Cliff previously revealed that his former part as Minty in EastEnders is still a big part of his life. “I am reminded of him practically every day. People shout, ‘Oi, Minty!’ whenever they see me. I don’t mind, though. I’m extremely grateful both to Minty and Eastenders. I had a great time playing him.”

As to whether he’d ever return to Albert Square, he said: “Never say never! I prefer going forward to going back but if Midwife ended and they came up with a great storyline for Minty, who knows?”

I’m A Celebrity continues on ITV. EastEnders continues on BBC1.

Main picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images