Darren Gough had just 40 minutes to live after being bitten by a scorpion.

Darren Gough

Darren Gough

The former 'Strictly Come Dancing' champion - who won the glitterball trophy 14 years ago with pro partner Lilia Kopylova - was on a safari in South Africa recently and had to be rushed to hospital with real fears he wouldn't make it.

Speaking on his Talksport radio show, the retired cricketer said: "I was told that as we didn't know which type of scorpion it was, you couldn't tell if it was the fatal sort or not.

"We were too far from a hospital for treatment even if they scrambled a helicopter it would take 40 minutes to reach us - I would be dead on arrival."

Darren, 47, felt the sting while he was in bed with his wife Anna, and he joked she just went back to sleep after the scary incident.

He added: "So I just sat there and waited - the missus just turned over and went back to sleep.

"I had hit the scorpion with my phone, but it was on the bed so it did it no harm - it must have just been like a giant trampoline for the bug.

"I spent 30 minutes looking for it, but didn't see it again. Luckily it was the non-fatal type. I can still feel the lump where it got me more than a week later."

While Darren won the main 'Strictly' competition in 2005, that same year he also emerged victorious in the Christmas Special - a feat he went on to repeat two years later.