Former politician Stanley Johnson has said he has never watched I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and knows “nothing about it”, despite heading into the jungle for the new series.

The father of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also said he hopes to shed some weight while taking part in the ITV programme, which he kept a secret from his family.

Johnson, 77, said: “I have to tell you I have never watched the show.

“It’s all totally new to me, I know absolutely nothing about it but I’ve been told about it and obviously I am ready to give it a go.”

Stanley JohnsonStanley Johnson kept his participation in the show a secret from his family (Yui Mok/PA)

On whether he is afraid of challenges such as the infamous Bushtucker Trials, he said: “I don’t think I am dreading anything. I am looking forward to being with the fellow competitors, contestants. I say that because it is a competition, isn’t it?”

The reality series is known for seeing its stars lose weight as they survive on a diet of basic rations, and Johnson said a slimmer physique is something he is aiming for.

“I am looking forward to losing half a stone,” he said. “No, seriously I am.”

He confessed to having kept his new TV endeavour a secret from his children, including politician Boris and journalist Rachel Johnson, and his wife Jennifer.

“It’s an absolute secret as far as they are concerned.

“My wife does not know I am planning to do this. Her reaction? It’s hard to say.”

The environmental expert and novelist said his children will probably not discover he is on I’m A Celebrity “unless they turn the telly on”.

He added: “They are all very busy. They will pick it up somewhere, I suppose. They are so busy.

“If the Johnsons spent all their time watching other Johnsons on TV, they would have nothing else to do!”