Pleasant Productions owed creditors almost £31,000.
Cliff, 59, who played Minty in the soap, told camp mates on the ITV show that he at first turned down the offer of going into the jungle.
But after his accountant presented him with his likely tax bill he decided he had to take the opportunity.
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The accounts for his TV production company were signed off on November 4 just before he began preparations to join the cast in Australia and cover the 12 months to February 28.
Although he had £21,728 in cash and other assets of £10,626, the £30,775 he owed creditors, left him with just under £1,500 to show for the year.
When asked why he chose to take part in the show, Cliff told The Sun: “The taxman. Yeah, I have got a bill I need to pay. Like everyone at this time of year you go, ‘Oh no! Again. I thought I paid that’.
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“What is the worst case scenario? A big snake is gonna bite you or the taxman is gonna bite you. What do you want?”
It is not clear how much Cliff, who played mechanic Minty Peterson in the BBC1 soap for almost ten years, will earn.
He is unlikely to come anywhere near the top earners Caitlyn Jenner, on £500,000 and ex England football international Ian Wright, said to be on £400,000 for his appearance.
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