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THE CRAFTY COCKROACH; DARTS: TAYLOR'S JUNGLE FEVER; 'Power' is planning a bushtucker blitz for old pal Eric; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: MIKE WALTERS m.walters@trinitymirror.com

PHIL 'The Power' Taylor waved his mentor Eric Bristow into the jungle and admitted: "I feel sorry for the snakes and slugs."

Taylor will clock up a monster phone bill during his defence of the William Hill Grand Slam of Darts - by voting for Bristow to endure the gastronomic trauma of bushtucker trials on Ant and Dec's 'I'm a Celebrity' jungle show.

The Crafty Cockney is missing the PS400,000 shootout at Wolverhampton Civic Hall for the slings and arrows of reality TV.

And 15-times world champion Taylor, who could knock out 2010 winner Scott Waites and complete a clean sweep of his group at the Grand Slam tonight, is backing Bristow to last the course.

He said: "I bet Tarzan soiled his loincloth and went into hiding when he saw Bristow walking into his jungle. "Most of the characters who sign up for 'I'm A Celebrity' are squeamish about all the snakes, spiders, creepycrawlies and rats sniffing around their sleeping bags at night.

"But this year, I feel sorry for the slugs, lizards and witchetty grubs - because they have never had to share their jungle with anyone like Eric.

"He won't be scared - in fact, he's going to cost me a fortune because I'll be voting for him to eat kangaroo dung and crocodile testicles for breakfast every day.

"I will have about six mobile phones on repeat dial to make sure he gets a wholesome diet out there. I missed his grand entrance the other night but I hear he got tipped out of a boat crossing a lake and put that Tory MP, Nadine Dorries, in her place.

"She is going to regret going into that jungle - not because she turned her back on Parliament, not because she abandoned her constituents, but because she's got to tame Eric, and I don't think he cares much for politicians.

"If any of the celebrities are too far up their own backsides, he won't beat about the bush. He will give it to them straight.

"At first I thought Eric was off his rocker, and I wondered why anyone would want to miss the Grand Slam in Wolverhampton to spend a fortnight round a campfire in the rainforest, but I think he's going to do well.

"When I beat Eric to win my first world title I never thought that, 22 years later, I would be watching him eat maggots for dinner.

"Don't worry, he will eat them. If he is hungry, he will probably ask for seconds!" Yesterday Taylor, 52, was backing the Crafty Cockney to be crowned king of the jungle as he swapped jobs with snooker's world No.1 Judd Trump, who defends his William Hill UK Open title next month, in Wolverhampton.

Trump managed to hit a bullseye at the fifth attempt, but Taylor will be sticking to the day job after discovering it was easier to talk the talk than chalk the chalk for tricks shots on the green baize.

THE William Hill Grand Slam of Darts runs until Sunday. For more info on latest odds visit williamhill.com

If any of the celebs are too far up their own backsides Eric won't beat around the bush. He will give it to them straight...

CAPTION(S):

ALL CHANGE Taylor takes time out from the Grand Slam of Darts to job swap with snooker World No.1 Trump, while William Hill ambassador Robbie Savage looks on

SNAKES & DAGGERS Bristow can survive the beasts and the politics while in the jungle s
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion, Columns
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 13, 2012
Words:592
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