IT’S not a regular occurrence, but the words “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” have been uttered by a handful of desperate stars over the course of the show’s 21 series.
Last week bosses were panicking that this year’s series – set in Wales – was about to see a mass exodus, following Richard Madeley’s dramatic departure.
The telly presenter, 65, was rushed to hospital after falling ill, and despite making a swift recovery, he was unable to return to Gwrych Castle because he'd left the show's Covid bubble.
The news of his departure left some of his campmates in tears – namely Frankie Bridge and Dame Arlene Phillips – with celebrity spirits said to be at "rock bottom".
Crew were already concerned about showbiz legend Arlene, 78, who is on painkillers, as well as DJ Naughty Boy, 36, who is struggling with being away from his mum, who has vascular dementia.
During their stint in The Clink, both celebrities threatened to walk out, and have since had medical treatment in the private room separate from the main camp.
To make matters worse, Storm Arwen ripped through Gwrych Castle at the weekend, with a 700-mile wide Arctic weather front set to follow in the coming days.
Richard – who said he was "gutted to be leaving so soon" is by no means the first celeb to have left the show early.
Some were pushed to the brink by the camp's tough conditions, including Gemma Collins who infamously left after just three days.
Others, like Richard, have been forced to leave through ill health, like Lady Colin Campbell, while some were forced to quit by bosses.
Here we take a look at all the celebs who’ve had a dramatic early exit from I'm A Celebrity…
Danniella Westbrook – missed family
In 2003, former EastEnders star Danniella Westbrook, 48, sensationally quit the jungle nine days in because she was so sick of being away from then-husband Kevin Jenkins and her two children – then aged six and 18 months.
She'd tried to leave before that, claiming: "I can't stand it. I really can't. I just hate it in here. I thought it would be fun but everyone is starving and starting to feel ill and really weak."
Danniella tried to persuade people not to vote for her to stay in the camp, telling viewers: "I have had my fill of being in the camp, I have done my bit for charity.
"Vote for the others. We have all worked for it, but I just want to get out of here. So, my life is in your hands. Don't vote for me please."
Danniella broke down in tears when weather girl Sian Lloyd was voted out before her and demanded to be allowed to walk.
After a lengthy chat with producers and a medical and psychological examination, she was escorted out of the camp and reunited with her husband.
Johnny Rotten – 'f**king c***s' outburst
Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten, 65, was known for his sweary rants when he went into the I'm A Celeb jungle in 2004.
He famously rowed with former glamour model Katie Price during his time in there, after she used drinking water to wash her hair.
Speaking in the Bush Telegraph, the former rocker, whose real name is John Lydon, said about Katie: "The woman's f*****g talentless. P**s off it doesn't do anything. And when it does it nags all the way through it. Come on.
"Kick her a**e out of here. It ain't funny anymore. It don't contribute. It's a parasite. You won't push much more that on me. I won't take that. I won't. You make a change with that attitude or I'll do something serious."
While being antagonistic towards her throughout, John later had another epic rant in the Bush Telegraph – ending with him kicking the camera.
He said: "I'm getting really fed up with it. I'm kind of the spokesperson I suppose, because I'm outspoken. It occupies the centre of attention, but it isn't happy even with that. The smoke annoys her. It's the camp fire, b***h. Live with it or swap.
"I'm not here to support a Page 3 f*****g blow up balloon. Right? I f*****g ain't. No f*****g more. B******s to you. I've had enough of this s**t."
Following that, Johnny became the sole reason I’m A Celebrity now has a time delay, when he called the public “f*****g c***s” live on TV in 2004.
When challenged, he started a fire on the borders of the camp to protest the lack of food before telling producers he was "bored" and wanted chocolate – and then promptly upped and left.
Brian Harvey – causing a stink
E17 singer Brian Harvey, 47, wasn’t a big fan of the jungle when he took part in I’m A Celebrity in 2004, and struggled, having lost his grandmother just days before entering.
He constantly complained about the lack of food and had a disastrous trial in which he only managed to collect two stars for camp.
But the last straw for the grief-stricken singer was a massive argument with Janet Street-Porter over his constant farting near the cooking area.
He told her: "You're cooking dinner! You're f*****g over there, I'm over there.
“Don't keep f*****g having a go at me about farting! Just because you think it's wrong doesn't mean everyone else thinks it's wrong.
“I'm farting because I need to f*****g fart, because all I've eaten is f*****g beans!"
An ITV spokeswoman later confirmed that Brian had left the jungle.
Natalie Appleton – 5 trials in a row
In the same year as Brian, All Saints singer Natalie Appleton, 48, quit the show on the day she’d been nominated for her fifth Bushtucker Trial in a row by the public.
She fast became viewers' favourite to do the trials after appearing terrified of a tree in the fourth series' first episode.
While walking along a tightrope in one challenge, she screamed: "Help me mummy – I'm going to be sick!" and during another she had to be given oxygen.
After failing to win many stars – her fourth trial saw her take home just one meal for her campmates – Natalie decided to walk rather than do another.
Kimberley Davies – fractured rib
In 2005, ex-Neighbours star Kimberley Davies, 48, was forced to pull out of I'm A Celeb on the 11th day after fracturing a rib during a helicopter jump for one of the Bushtucker trials.
She fell awkwardly into the water and was taken to hospital and monitored by doctors.
But when she returned to camp it became obvious within a few hours that she wasn't able to stay.
A spokesman explained she'd been keen to continue, but was in too much pain and discomfort.
Following the trial, show bosses insisted the accident was her own fault.
Elaine Lordan – collapsed twice on day one
Elaine Lordan – most famous for playing Linda Slater in EastEnders – didn’t even make it past the first day of I’m A Celeb in 2005.
The 55-year-old actress had to withdraw after she collapsed, twice in 24 hours, in the camp.
Paramedics and security guards dressed in camouflage gear rushed onto the set and Elaine was taken on a stretcher by air ambulance to a hospital five miles away, suffering from dehydration.
Fellow contestant and EastEnders star Sid Owen burst into tears after her collapse.
"I'm sorry but you don't see situations like that every day," he said. "She started shaking, then fell back and went really stiff. It was so frightening. It was really scary."
After her hospital dash, ITV said the "detailed investigations carried out by separate doctors over the last two days have shown her to be in good health."
But Elaine "reluctantly agreed to withdraw" from the reality show.
Camilla Dallerup – 'too weak' to cope
Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Camilla Dallerup, 47, lasted just four days in the I’m A Celeb jungle in 2009.
She signed up to "do something completely out of my comfort zone," but repeatedly visited the Bush Telegraph to have crisis talks with producers.
Camilla was also constantly seen telling her fellow campmates how weak, "useless" and unhealthy she was feeling after multiple sleepless nights.
Eventually, she decided to leave as she felt she couldn't cope.
She said: "I’ve decided to leave the camp. I’ve had a chat with the medics and I’ve taken the decision because if I stayed any longer I could risk my health.
"I feel really weak like I could faint any time. I don’t have any reserve. I’m a small person and I don’t have any reserve to draw on and today when I woke up its got worse every day. I just felt this was the worse I’ve ever felt.
"I was so weak I could hardly walk down to the river and back. It feels like the right decision because my body can’t take it. I just have to listen to my body."
Katie Price – second time unlucky
When Katie Price, 43, first went into the jungle in 2004, she made it to the final.
She even got a (now-ex) husband Peter Andre and two kids – Princess, 14, and Junior, 16 – out of it!
But when she returned for a second stint in 2009 – hoping to hit back at the negative press she’d been receiving prior – she didn’t exactly get the result she wanted.
In fact, viewers kept voting her to do every single trial, and when it got to her seventh, she walked.
She said: "I've done my challenges, people can see I'm genuine. I just don't want to be here any more.
“It's not about the money. I didn't come back here for that. I really miss my kids."
George Hamilton – quit out of 'respect'
In the same series, Hollywood actor George Hamilton, 82, quit a week before the final, for possibly the weirdest reason.
He said he had “too much respect” for his fellow celebrity campmates, and didn’t want to see them all lose to him.
His departure was not entirely unexpected, as he was seen chatting to Kim Woodburn about wanting to go, after winning a phone call from his girlfriend, Barbara Sturm.
He had also confessed he was concerned that he was not adding to camp life, having been excluded from most of the Bushtucker Trials on health grounds.
He told Kim: "I feel like we are down to just a few people, all of whom I like and want to see them all benefit but I may be standing in their way, who knows I may end up in the final three, my girl has to go back and at this stage in my life I have to think what is important to me in life.
"With Christmas coming up, it makes sense to spend a few days here with my girl and go back and spend time with my kid.
"Time means more than anything to me now, more than money, more than life, I feel like I've lived a life and feel easy in my skin. If this was something huge for me to do or to prove something, I'd have stuck at it but I don't want to take it away from you guys."
He added: "I've had a really good time but sometimes I feel I am not contributing to the camp but I've made up my mind and want to go."
Nigel Havers – refused electrocution
Panto veteran Nigel Havers, 70, wasn’t a big fan of the jungle in 2010, and has since said his time on the show was "total boredom".
He moaned about the lack of intellectual conversations between his campmates, but it was one moment in a Bushtucker Trial that saw him head for the door.
All the celebs were forced to get electric shocks, but the former Corrie star refused and simply upped and left.
He fumed: "I'm not up for it, I don’t do electric shocks so I’m leaving. I cannot waste another second of my life. I will probably do something drastic like probably go.
"If you are gaining something, that’s a fantastic thing. But if you’re not gaining something…" – and off he went.
Freddie Starr – ambulance called
Freddie Starr – who died in 2019 – was forced to quit I’m A Celebrity in 2011, when he suffered an allergic reaction to something he’d eaten.
He collapsed after beating ex-TOWIE star Mark Wright in a Bushtucker Trial which involved chomping down a fermented egg, pig’s anus and camel’s toe.
The late comedian – who was still smoking at the time, despite suffering a heart attack the year before and needing a quadruple bypass – felt sick and faint afterwards and was taken away by ambulance.
Doctors diagnosed an allergic reaction, and kept him in overnight.
He was fine the next day, but bosses didn't want to risk him returning to camp.
Brian Conley – 'malnourished and exhausted'
When EastEnders star Brian Conley, 60, entered the jungle in 2012, he’d only recently stopped taking the antidepressants he’d been on for 15 years.
During his time in the jungle he struggled with the lack of food and sleep, and had to withdraw from the show after just nine days.
Following his exit, he told Daybreak: “Two days after six days of not eating, I didn’t have antidepressants. They said if I did not comply with these regulations, then I would not be on the show.
“I started feeling really bad, and very shortly after that I did have to leave. I found out I was malnutritioned and I was suffering from exhaustion, that’s what the doctor said [sic].
“I felt bad because it was out of my control, it was their decision… I couldn’t lie to them (about not taking the antidepressants).”
Touching on jungle life, Brian added: “I can tell you it’s not fluffy out there, it’s the real world. It’s tough, real tough.”
Gemma Collins – diva tantrums
The I’m A Celebrity jungle just didn’t match up with 40-year-old Gemma Collins’ diva demands when she entered in 2014.
From the moment she went up in the air in the helicopter, the former TOWIE star didn’t stop complaining.
After moaning about the lack of food and her yellow poo, and claiming she had malaria, the GC quit after just three days.
Since being on the show, Gemma has since insisted she didn’t leave the jungle because she was hungry, but because she was beaten by her partner the night before she left the UK.
She claimed her former boyfriend Alex Moss beat her "from the neck down"– allegations he denies.
She told The Sun: "I was severely beaten up by my partner the night before I went into the jungle.
"When I went in there I was really badly beaten from my neck down."
The reality star said that ITV advised against her entering the jungle, but that she didn’t want to waste the opportunity.
Craig Charles – family tragedy
Craig Charles, 57, had the saddest reason for quitting I’m A Celeb in the show’s history.
Just one day after Gemma pulled out, the former Coronation Street star was given the horrendous news that his brother had died overnight of a heart attack.
Out of respect for the actor, producers told Craig the news off-camera when he woke up in the morning, rather than waking him to tell him.
An ITV spokesperson confirmed his departure, saying: "Craig decided to leave the I'm A Celebrity camp earlier today and will be heading back to his family the UK. We send our sincere condolences to Craig and his family."
Spencer Matthews – steroids row
He may be an advocate of clean-living and expecting his third baby with wife Vogue Williams now, but there was a time when Spencer Matthews, 33, was a bit of a naughty boy.
The Made In Chelsea star was forced to pull out of I’m A Celebrity in 2015 just two days in, when producers discovered he was taking steroids.
In a statement after his exit, Spenny said: "I had intended to come off the pills gradually, but there was no time to do this before I reached the jungle.
“My admission to the production team that I was still taking these pills led to the conclusion that it would be unsafe for me to stay in the jungle – a decision which I found extremely hard to stomach."
Lady Colin Campbell – health scare
Lady C, 72, was one of the most memorable I’m A Celebrity stars of all time, dividing both viewers and campmates with her quick wit and sharp tongue.
She had quite a rough ride in the show, and was at the centre of many arguments, mainly with Tony Hadley and Duncan Bannatyne, whom she branded "oiks", "runts" and "b*****ds".
She was eventually forced to quit just days before the finale on "medical grounds," although her son Dima insisted she was "fine" the next morning.
Jack Maynard – 'inappropriate messages'
Like Spencer, YouTuber Jack Maynard, 27, was forced to quit the show by producers.
In 2017, just days into the series, there were allegations he’d sent inappropriate messages to a 14-year-old fan.
Old tweets from his Twitter account also included racist and homophobic slurs.
A statement released by Jack's agent said: "In the last few days Jack has been the subject of a succession of media stories which he has been unable to respond to.
"Since it is only fair that everyone should be aware of any allegations made against them and should also have the right to defend themselves, it was agreed it would be better to bring him out."
Let’s hope Richard is the last celeb to quit this year!
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