The standout star of Strictly Come Dancing last year rejected an offer from ITV to appear in its jungle series - and with good reason.
"Strictly is actually a very warm, binding programme which everybody enjoys. It's not about humiliation," Ed said.
Speaking at the Hay Literature Festival, he continued: "My dad's a scientist, and when I was three [years old] in his lab at the University of East Anglia, I put my finger into a cage and got bitten by a rat.
"And ever since then, a morbid fear of rats has ruled out any reality TV show with rodents."
Former politician Ed previously described taking part in Strictly as a 'positive mid-life crisis'.
While playing to huge crowds nightly on the Strictly live tour earlier this year, Ed admitted: “I quite often find myself saying: ‘Blimey am I actually doing this?’
“By the time I was 50 I wanted to be Chancellor in a Labour government. That hasn’t happened – but it’s still shaping up to be my best birthday ever.”
Ahead of celebrating, Ed told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “What’s key is doing the mid-life crisis in a positive way.
“Life isn’t about trying to be dignified, it’s being relaxed about who you are. My kids said: ‘Dad, you’re supposed to be embarrassing, but you’ve over-achieved’.”