Savage: Derby wanted to sell me to Ant and Dec!
In his column for the Mirror, Savage wrote: "At the start of the 2007/08 season I realised how far I'd fallen when my own chairman wanted me out of Derby... and into the jungle!
"We played Southampton and I was absolutely dreadful. I had no confidence; I was getting booed every time I touched the ball. It was my last game under Paul Jewell.
"'If you can find anywhere to go, go,' he told me. 'People tell me your legs have gone.'
"They didn't care where I went as long as Robbie Savage cleared off as quickly and quietly as possible. There was one problem. Nobody would have me. No one wanted to touch me with a barge pole.
"My agent George Urquhart spelled it out. He said to me, 'Sav, no one wants to touch you. You can't get near anybody any more. You're not the player you were. The game is all about high energy and high intensity, and no one wants to touch you. Nobody in the Championship, nobody in League one, nobody in League Two.'
"Then Adam Pearson called me into his office and said, 'Ant and Dec are your mates, aren't they?'
"'Well, I know them,' I admitted. 'Why don't you give them a ring and try to get into the jungle? You've tried everywhere else, and no one will take you. Give them a call.'
"I sat there and looked at him in amazement. I was a professional footballer, earning 23 grand a week at Derby, and the chairman was telling me to get on a reality TV show. What about playing football? The last thing on my mind was a trip into the jungle with Ant and Dec on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!"