Simon Gregson hopes viewers will see he has “a modicum more” intelligence than his on-screen persona Steve McDonald in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity.

The Coronation Street stalwart, who first appeared on the show in 1989, said he looks forward to people seeing “a different side to me” instead of his usual soap opera antics.

Gregson said he felt calm but admitted his feelings may well change, as his arrival at Gwrych Castle was teased alongside fellow soap star Adam Woodyatt, of EastEnders.

Asked if there was much difference between himself and McDonald, he replied: “Not a lot at all.

“For the simple reason that I had no idea what I was doing when I joined the show, I’d never acted, I didn’t know what I was doing, I kind of learned on the job.

National Television Awards 2010 – Arrivals – London
Simon Gregson said he felt calm ahead of his arrival at Gwrych Castle (Ian West/PA)

“As the decades rolled by I thought well the simplest way to do this is maybe just be a more exaggerated me.

“Obviously the big differences are I probably wouldn’t do half the things that idiot does, and he wouldn’t do half the things I do.

“It would be nice for people to see I’ve got a modicum more of intelligence than Steve.

“It’ll be nice for people to see a different side to me, hopefully that’ll come across if I’m not too absolutely nervous.”

But the actor said he loved working on the long-running soap and hoped it would be a job for life.

He said he had decided to accept the invitation to be in the latest series of I’m a Celebrity due to pressure from his children, who are big fans of the show.

“They were just like ‘come on dad, we’d love it’,” he said

“So I just said ‘ok anything for you guys’.

“(They) are like ‘absolutely do not say ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here’ and make sure you at least get as far as possible otherwise it’s going to be a huge pile-on when I get home.”

He added: “They’re getting big now so it would probably hurt.”

Asked if he was nervous about entering the competition and the challenges in store, he said: “I’m pretty calm at the moment but I’m sure all that will change.

“Best not to think about it at all until the moment you’re doing it… what’s the point in worrying twice.

“Let’s just wait until you get there, take a deep breath and see how you get on with it.”

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here continues on Thursday at 9pm on ITV