'Strictly' contestant Sergeant 'paid back book advance'

TV favourite John Sergeant has revealed he paid back a book advance worth tens of thousands of pounds to his publisher – because he could not face writing another volume of memoirs.

TV favourite John Sergeant has revealed he paid back a book advance worth tens of thousands of pounds to his publisher – because he could not face writing another volume of memoirs.

The former TV political editor, who became an unlikely star of 'Strictly Come Dancing' for his lumpen efforts, said he had a change of heart after accepting the cash because it would have been too “boring”.

Sergeant told the new edition of Radio Times that he felt an enormous sense of relief when he had paid back the cash.

He said: “What I was really expecting to do when I left ITN was to write books, because I had a two-book contract with Macmillan.”

But he had cold feet after taking the upfront payment for a third book, he said.

“Had I been less well-known, I could have written a book on the history of the police, or something that would have interested me hugely, but all they really wanted was my memoirs.

“And you can’t go on writing the same book, for Christ’s sake. Not only is it boring, it’s a terrific strain, too. You get trapped. So I paid back the advance - a vast amount of money – and then I felt incredibly free.”

Sergeant, 65, is soon to be seen in new TV series 'John Sergeant on the Tourist Trail' for ITV1.

“I think my age plays to my strengths. I defy anyone to watch it and say: ’Poor old boy.’ To me, it’s very much a rebuttal to those who say people like me ought to go at 60,” he told Radio Times, which is published today.

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