THE British public may gain a better insight into Mo Farah’s true personality over the coming weeks but there likely will not be any revelations for Andy Butchart.

The four-time Olympic champion has signed up for the latest series of I’m a Celebrity which starts today and is taking place in a castle in Wales rather than the traditional Australian jungle because of Covid restrictions.

With cameras and microphones following the participants’ every move, it will place Farah under the spotlight like never before. Butchart, though, has seen it all before.

Middle-distance rivals, team-mates and friends for the past five or six years, the pair spent this summer training together again at Font Romeu in the French Pyrenees. And the Scot reckons his pal will take this latest challenge in his stride.

“I think he’ll be fine on the show,” said the 29-year-old. “People don’t get to see the side of him that I get to see. He’s actually a really funny, outgoing guy. And he’s similar to me in that he’s a bit of a dunce, not book-smart you could say.

“He’s actually scared of most things so if you put a spider in front of him he’ll poop his pants. So it should make for good TV. Good on him for getting on the show.

“I would go on it, it sounds like fun. We’re back into another lockdown in England so you may as well get locked down getting paid to stay in a castle in Wales.”

One place that Butchart will not be seeing Farah is the start line for the 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics next summer. After taking gold at the previous two Games, the Englishman has decided to only defend his 10,000m title, rather than trying to do both events again.

That, reckons Butchart, makes for an open field, with the Dunblane athlete confident he can improve on his sixth-place finish in Rio four years ago.

“The sport has moved on a lot with technology and has come a long way since Rio,” he adds. “There are a lot of guys out there pushing for prominence. But the good thing is there’s not someone like Mo who before Rio you would have put your money on right away.

“In the 5,000m it’s pretty open. I’d say I was unlucky not to make the final of the worlds in Doha last year and the way the final was run would have benefited someone like me; a fast pace at the start and then not much of a pace change. So if it’s similar to that in Tokyo then there’s no reason why someone like me won’t be up there fighting for medals. If I continue to progress the way I have been I can’t see why not.”

This has been a down year for Butchart who underwent Achilles surgery in March then chose to train rather than race when a shortened season belatedly got underway in the summer.

Refreshed and raring to go, the Loughborough-based runner and his fiancée Lynsey Sharp hope to compete heavily throughout the indoor season to get into the best shape ahead of the Olympics.

“Joanna Coates [CEO of British Athletics] came out and said that there will definitely be a British indoor championships which was really good to hear,” he said. “We’ve also been told by the British Olympic Association that the Olympics will 100 per cent go ahead, whether there’s a vaccine or not. It may be a very different Games but that’s still good.

“It’s been nice for Lynsey and me to have had a year of not travelling and not competing. We weren’t pushing ourselves to our absolute limit over the summer, it was nice just to enjoy it. We’re both refreshed for a big one next year. We’ll look to hit indoors fairly hard, try to run some fast times and get ourselves in the best possible shape for Tokyo.”

Butchart has also found the time to mentor a number of young Scottish athletes, in particular Connor Bell of Central AC.

“I decided last year I would try to help one Scottish junior who could potentially gain something from the odd message from me,” he said. “So I reached out to Connor and he was buzzing to hear from me which was funny. We started chatting about how it was going, his coach, how he trains and the rest. We speak a fair amount now.

“It’s just someone to talk to if he needs help. I wouldn’t say I want to be a coach ever but I don’t mind helping people if I can. When I was coming through there were older guys like Farah who would chat to you. And it was always good to get that advice from someone with more experience.”