Ronnie O'Sullivan: 'I'm a Celebrity' wanted five-time world snooker champion on show

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O'Sullivan scores 'emphatic' win to reach last eight
Betway UK Championship
Venue: York Barbican Dates: 27 November-9 December
Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 1 December.

Ronnie O'Sullivan could have been battling bugs instead of potting balls on the baize, had he not rejected an offer to take part in jungle-based ITV show 'I'm a Celebrity' this year.

O'Sullivan instead opted to go in search of a seventh UK Championship title, and spent part of his 43rd birthday beating Jack Lisowski 6-1.

"I was invited this year but I decided to put it on the back-burner," he said.

Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is among the 2018 cast of the show.

"I'm sure in time I'll give it a go," O'Sullivan continued. "Maybe they can move this tournament. I'll come flying in like Tarzan from Australia to York with my thong on."

Former snooker player Jimmy 'The Whirlwind' White came third on his appearance on I'm a Celebrity in 2009, while Steve Davis was fifth to be eliminated in the 2013 series.

The sums paid to the respective cast members in the show are a secret, but would potentially be higher that the £170,000 on offer to the winner of the UK Championship at York's Barbican Centre.

"It was never about the money or I would have gone into the jungle. I would really like to do it but (not) when you think you can still win tournaments. It was about snooker first," added O'Sullivan.

"I'll go for a nice meal tonight and watch a bit of the jungle. Harry (Redknapp) and John (Barrowman) are nice, but I really like Anne (Hegerty) - she really seems to have gained some confidence."

Five-time world champion O'Sullivan will play Mark Allen or Neil Robertson in the quarter-finals of the UK event.

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