With an estimated net worth of £2million, I'm A Celebrity star Vernon Kay certainly hasn't done badly for himself.

He's one of the most recognised faces on TV thanks to presenting roles on T4, Family Fortunes and The One Show, and lives in a huge country pile with wife Tess Daly and their two daughters.

Thanks to his profile, he's even believed to have been able to command a fee of £250,000 for his stint in the Welsh castle.

But the future didn't look quite so rosy for the star when he graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in environmental science and admitted he'd botched it.

Vernon, pictured in 2002, worked as a cleaner after graduating
Vernon, pictured in 2002, worked as a cleaner after graduating

Instead of getting a graduate job, the Bolton-born star instead became a cleaner for the local council, scrubbing school toilets and mopping the floors.

But at 6ft 2in tall, the school kids thought Vernon, 46, was fresh from the big Saturday night show at the time - Gladiators.

"I didn't do very well at uni, so I cleaned children's toilets in schools. I absolutely loved it. I was a caretaker as well. You'd get the kids at half eight, quarter to nine in the morning, going, 'Sir, sir, are you a giant? Are you a gladiator? Have you beaten Wolf?'" he once told The Guardian.

It might have been hard graft but Vernon excelled. Although there was one area he regularly got caught out on.

He explained: "Cleaners never clean the tops of doors, but in schools, that's where mites nest. My supervisor was always saying: 'Vernon, you've done a really good job; you've done your surfaces, you've done your floors... not done the tops of your doors, though, have you?'"

Vernon was a model before he became a TV presenter
Vernon was a model before he became a TV presenter

Needless to say, he admits running a tight ship when it comes to hiring cleaners for the house he shares with wife Tess Daly and their two daughters.

Meanwhile, Vernon's life suddenly took a completely different turn thanks to a chance meeting at Birmingham Clothes Show Live.

The father-of-two had travelled down to the event with friends when he was spotted by a scout who wanted to sign him as a model.

Thrilled, he called his parents - but he didn't get the response he'd expected with neither able to hide their incredulity.

He continued: "My big break was the modelling. I'd stopped cleaning schools and started cleaning telephone boxes by then, and I had my own van. I rang my Mum up from a service station on the way home, after I got scouted, and I told her. She said: 'What? You? You're ugly!' My Dad went: 'You look like a girl!'"

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*I’m A Celebrity continues tonight at 9pm on ITV.