Fears that I’m A Celebrity bosses have made this year’s series too tough are mounting after Richard Madeley’s shock departure yesterday.
This year’s season has been thrown into chaos behind the scenes after three of this year’s contestants – Dame Arlene Phillips, Naughty Boy and Frankie Bridge – sought urgent medical treatment.
The Strictly judge, 78, is reportedly being medicated for chronic pain while the music producer, 36, is said to be struggling mentally. And the Saturdays singer, 32, has developed a rash that doctors are battling to diagnose, The Sun reported.
Madeley – arguably this year’s biggest signing – was forced to quit ITV’s I’m A Celeb after being admitted to Glan Clwyd Hospital. He was unable to reenter the castle after breaking the Covid-safe bubble to be treated.
A spokesman for I’m A Celebrity refused to be drawn on concerns that this year’s series is too tough on the contestants, who are forced to sleep rough and endure gruelling Bushtucker trials.
Madeley, 65, became ill after crawling through fish guts. He had also complained about the castle’s ‘freezing’ temperatures.
Worries: I’m A Celebrity bosses are reportedly fearing they may lose more of the show’s stars following Richard Madeley’s departure on Thursday (pictured Arlene Phillips and Naughty Boy)
The Sun reports Arlene is on painkillers for ‘chronic pain’, while Naughty Boy is having a ‘tough time’ mentally due to being away from his dementia-stricken mum.
Frankie is said to have developed a rash and has had to seek medical attention.
A source said: ‘There are growing concerns for Arlene who is really struggling and in chronic pain, she is being helped around by the likes of David Ginola and Naughty Boy and is looking really frail.
‘It’s hard enough roughing it in the ruins of an old castle let alone at 78 years old. She is a trooper and wants to show everyone how tough she is.’
In chaos? The series is said to have been thrown into chaos behind-the-scenes after three of the celebrities have had to have urgent medical treatment (pictured Frankie Bridge)
He’s out: It comes after Richard, 65, arguably the show’s biggest signing, was forced to leave I’m A Celeb on Thursday after being admitted to hospital
Who’s panicking ITV?
ARLENE PHILLIPS, 78
– Producers are concerned about Arlene’s future on the show as she is dependent on painkillers to treat her chronic pain. She is the oldest ever star to take part in the show
NAUGHTY BOY, 36
– Naughty Boy is the primary carer to his dementia-stricken mother Zahida and is said to be struggling more and more with being away from his ill mum
FRANKIE BRIDGE, 32
– Frankie has also been seeking medical help for an unidentifiable rash that has left doctors stumped
The insider said Naughty Boy, real name Shahid Khan, is having counselling over his mother’s health.
They said: ‘He’s been speaking to the show’s psych team, led by Sandra Scott, on a specially set-up iPad to make sure he is staying upbeat…
‘This is the longest he has been away from his mother since her diagnosis so they are keen to make sure he’s not spiralling quietly.’
Also adding to producers worries is Frankie, who has reportedly been given an ointment to treat a rash- with doctors unsure about what has caused it.
The source said ITV simply ‘can’t afford to loose any names- especially after Richard left the camp just four days after the show started.
MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment.
Arlene and Naughty Boy have both previously expressed their desire to leave Gwyrch Castle after struggling in breakout camp, The Clink.
The music producer had been particularly vocal about his desire to leave following the Treacherous Traps trial, with the star remarking: ‘My time here is done!’
He told his fellow campmates: ‘I do think my time here is done. I had a feeling earlier and I was thinking about mum and obviously I love you guys.
Medical treatment: Naughty Boy, real name Shahid Khan, is reportedly having counselling over his mother’s health, while Frankie is said to have developed a rash
Family man: Before entering the jungle, he detailed his mother’s health battles, as he said: ‘I think it is important for people like myself to create awareness about it’
‘I don’t think after knowing what the Main Camp probably knew what they were putting me through knowing I did the challenge earlier – I don’t know if I could ever join that camp.’
Naughty Boy’s fellow campers were quick to reassure him but he continued his threats quit altogether and was joined by Arlene – even after the news that they were to join the Main Camp.
Meanwhile, Arlene said: ‘I feel exactly the same. For me, I was hoping I was going to come out here strong and proud, but it hasn’t started in the right way.
Back on track: It comes after Arlene and Naughty Boy threatened to leave the competition earlier thsis week, with the music producer remarking: ‘My time here is done!’
‘I find it unacceptable. I know that I can’t go on and my mind isn’t going to change in the morning, one night isn’t going to change.’
However the pair changed their minds after entering Main Camp, in scenes which were aired on Wednesday’s show.
The crisis comes after Richard was forced to leave the show after being rushed to hospital with an unknown medical condition.
Eeek: Naughty Boy was ready to leave after losing a gruelling trial to Snoochie Shy
Having second thoughts: Arlene said: ‘I feel exactly the same. For me, I was hoping I was going to come out here strong and proud, but it hasn’t started in the right way’
In a major blow to the show as one of their top signings, the broadcaster, who was paid an estimated £200,000 to star in this year’s competition, was taken ill hours after participating in a gruelling trial and complaining about the castle’s freezing temperatures.
In a statement Richard, who was believed to be treated at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, confirmed he had to quit the series after breaking the show’s ‘Covid bubble’.
Richard’s daughter Chloe, 34, revealed her father is ‘livid’ he can’t go back into the I’m A Celebrity camp after his shock hospital dash.
‘Gutted’: In a statement Richard, who was believed to be at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, reassured fans he’s ‘fine’ after his health scare
He said in a statement: ‘Hello all! Richard here – firstly just to say that I’m absolutely FINE. I started to feel briefly unwell in the small hours of the morning and was taken to hospital as a precaution.
‘By leaving the camp, I had consequently broken the Covid ‘bubble’ and as such I’ve had to leave the castle and all the wonderful celebs that remain in the camp.
‘Obviously I’m gutted to be leaving so soon but the safety of all the campmates is the number one priority. I’m incredibly excited to watch their journey continue…even more so at the prospect of being somewhere a little warmer than Gwrych Castle…
Health scare: Richard, who was paid an estimated £200,000 to star in this year’s competition, was taken ill hours after participating in a gruelling trial
Worry: Richard was believed to be at Glan Clwyd Hospital after falling ill overnight
‘Thank you to everyone who supported me on my brief but completely unforgettable adventure – I’ve made some great friends and honestly had the time of my life.
An I’m A Celebrity spokesperson added: ‘Our strict Covid protocols means Richard has sadly had to leave the show as he is no longer in the bubble the celebrities form when entering the castle.
‘He has been a truly brilliant camp mate and we thank him for being part of this series.’
Statement: Presenter Chloe, 34, took to Instagram to say she had spoken to him and that while he was annoyed he couldn’t return, he was ‘absolutely fine’, before gushing she was ‘so proud’
It was then revealed on Friday that Richard is still ‘too ill’ to appear on Good Morning Britain on Monday following his I’m A Celebrity exit.
Discussing Richard’s experience on Friday show, his fellow GMB star Richard Arnold also spoke of the host’s whopping £200,000 fee, admitting he’s ‘not sure he’ll forfeit his fee yet’.
Ben Shephard admitted that show bosses are unsure whether the former This Morning anchor would be well enough to join them, stating: ‘Apparently we’ll be talking to him on Monday.
‘Maybe we won’t. We’re hearing he’s too ill. Okay, hopefully we’ll talk to Richard on Monday.’
Sharing his opinion on Richard having to leave the camp, Ben added: ‘It was short and sweet. It’s such a shame because Richard was the person who was trying to persuade the others not to leave and all of a sudden, he’s gone.
‘It sounds like it was a bit of a Covid-19 protocol issue, he broke the bubble to go to hospital and then couldn’t go back in.
‘I feel like someone’s made a bit of a mistake there. It’s such a shame though because he’s already been such an integral part of the show.’
Concerns? It was then revealed on Friday that Richard is still ‘too ill’ to appear on Good Morning Britain on Monday following his I’m A Celebrity exit (pictured on the ITV show)
In a statement Richard, who was believed to be treated at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, reassured fans that he’s ‘fine’ after his health scare, but confirmed he had to quit the series after breaking the show’s ‘Covid bubble.’
Meanwhile, Richard Arnold said the star’s exit was a ‘devastating loss’ for the show, and also added that he was unsure whether Richard’s ‘tasty’ £200k feel would be forfeited now he’s out.
He said: ‘I think it’s a devastating loss for the show, and also he’s been courted by the show for years and he said it was something he desperately wanted to do.
‘And four days, and we’re told quite a big wedge as well, whether or not he’ll forfeit the fee or not, I’m not across that but it’s quite a tasty sum of money!’
As the Good Morning Britain star’s departure from the 2021 series was due to medical reasons and not from quitting of his own accord, it is thought he will get his full salary – which is believed to be an eye-watering £200,000 – after just four days in the jungle.
Richard also said of the situation: ‘With Simon Gregson and Adam Woodyatt going in, I mean they’re brilliant signings as well, but Dickie was very much a marquee signing.
‘The duty of care would have been paramount with Richard on set, and there is an on set medical team at all times as well, but it was felt that perhaps it was escalated to take him to hospital for a reason, and a very valid reason, because Richard no doubt would have protested.’
I’m A Celebrity 2021 Line-up
CLAIM TO FAME: Broadcaster & ex BBC Breakfast Host
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: It’s nice to be able to show the fun side of me rather than the serious news presenter.
PHOBIAS: The idea of small, enclosed spaces with cockroaches and spiders is horrific!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I will give out hugs and make the food more edible!
MISS MOST: My comfortable bed and lovely bath.
DREAM CAMPER: Angelina Jolie and Daniel Craig – we wouldn’t have a problem getting stars if he were in the Castle.
CLAIM TO FAME: Olympic Gold Medallist
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People always see me as very composed and serious on the diving board. This will be a nice opportunity to let people get to know me better.
PHOBIAS: I don’t like rats.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I don’t mind helping out with cleaning.
MISS MOST: My bed!
DREAM CAMPER: Ed Sheeran and Will Smith
CLAIM TO FAME: Radio 1Xtra DJ
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People know me as a very bubbly person but when I am outside of my comfort zone, I can be shy.
PHOBIAS: Bugs, heights and I’m claustrophobic.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I love twerking on a Friday night and I’m going to teach everyone how to do it in the Castle!
MISS MOST: My cat and lip gloss.
DREAM CAMPER: Jim Carrey and Big Narstie.
CLAIM TO FAME: TV presenter and journalist
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: Nothing. I don’t worry about what people think.
PHOBIAS: Heights. I’m not sure how I will feel if I have to walk across a plank very high up!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Cook and interviewer. I love finding out about people’s lives.
MISS MOST: Aside from Judy and my family, not knowing what is happening in the news. I am a news junkie.
DREAM CAMPER: The late Jimmy Greaves. I would have loved to chat about goal scoring in the Castle with him.
DAME ARLENE PHILLIPS, DBE
DAME ARLENE PHILLIPS, DBE
CLAIM TO FAME: Choreographer
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People don’t really know the real me at home and I’d like to show people the motherly side, the side my family sees.
PHOBIAS: I am hoping I will overcome my fears to take part in the Trials!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum and to organise some fun dance routines!
MISS MOST: My notepad and pencil –I am known for always having to write down ideas.
DREAM CAMPER: Giovanna Fletcher –she is such a lovely, warm person.
CLAIM TO FAME: Producer
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People don’t know the real me and I want everyone to get to know me.
PHOBIAS: Confined spaces and heights but I want to give the Trials a go to bring back some stars.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Castle chef and someone who everyone can confide in.
MISS MOST: My mum. I live with her and it’s going to be hard being away from her.
DREAM CAMPER: Sir Elton John would be amazing.
KADEENA COX, MBE
KADEENA COX, MBE
CLAIM TO FAME: Paralympic Gold Medallist
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: Great to be able to show people with all disabilities they can try different things in life.
PHOBIAS: Snakes, rats, spiders, heights – everything!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Chef – so long as there isn’t too much pressure to make the food interesting!
MISS MOST: TikTok, my mum and dog.
DREAM CAMPER: Thierry Henry –I love watching Arsenal play.
CLAIM TO FAME: Football legend
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: None because I never hide behind a false image. What you see is what you get.
PHOBIAS: I am going to tell you when I am in the Castle!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Chef. I enjoy cooking at home and I will be hoping to add some garlic and rosemary to the food.
MISS MOST: My partner and my little girl. It’s going to be tough.
CLAIM TO FAME: The Saturdays star
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People think if you are in a pop group, you lead a glamorous lifestyle and won’t get stuck in, but I’m determined to muck in with all the chores.
PHOBIAS: Spiders, rats and confined spaces scare me.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: The serial hugger.
MISS MOST: Wayne and my boys.
DREAM CAMPER: Larry Lamb or a father figure type.
CLAIM TO FAME: Emmerdale actor
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: None but I would like to show everyone what I am like in real life rather than my soap character, Aaron Dingle.
PHOBIAS: I am absolutely dreading the eating Trials! I fear I will gag!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: A shoulder to cry on and a person everyone can come to if they have a problem.
MISS MOST: My fiancée, Steph, and our new baby.
DREAM CAMPER: Fred Sirieix or any ex football player. I won’t be able to leave them alone asking lots of questions!