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'Gutted' Richard Madeley speaks out after I'm A Celebrity exit

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Richard Madeley has spoken out after his exit from I’m A Celebrity 2021.

TV host Richard was forced to quit the show this week after a visit to hospital.

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In tonight’s episode, the campmates reacted to his exit before Richard spoke to Ant & Dec about his short time on the show.

In camp, a tablet arrived with a video message from Richard.

He told the group: “Hi guys, first thing to tell you straight away is I’m completely fine, it was what was known as a false alarm but I had to come out for a couple of hours of medical checks. I’m as fit as a fiddle in which case I could/should be back in with you right now. But it’s our old friend Covid, I had to come out into the Covid world and I can’t risk bringing the bug back in with me and ruining the experience for you guys, the programme and the viewers. So that’s it, my adventure is over.

“I just want to say how much I love you, you know I mean that and how much I’m grateful to you for everything you’ve said and done for me over the past few days and I’m going to set up that WhatsApp group we spoke about for when you come out. We can all talk to each other again and hopefully meet up. Anyway, I’ll be watching over the next few weeks and I wish you all the love and luck in the world, I can’t wait to see who wins.”

Richard talks to Ant & Dec

Richard then joined Ant and Dec for an interview, telling the pair: “I feel as fit as a fiddle and I am fit as a fiddle. And you know if it wasn’t for Covid I’d be back there sort of eating rice and beans.

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“I had to leave… it’s a Covid situation. It’s still biting our bums isn’t it? What happened was, I had just a funny little turn quite sort of late in the morning.”

He continued: “ITV are so good with duty of care. They were adamant. They said ‘No, we have to make sure that you’re OK.’ I said, ‘But I am OK.’ They said, ‘We have to make sure.’ So I went to the local hospital – I was only in there for about an hour and a half – I was given really thorough checks and I was given a completely clean bill of health, I’m absolutely fine. No matter what you might have read, I’m absolutely fine.”

Richard said: “But I did hang on after I was discharged for about 20 minutes because I went to the canteen, seriously, and had a bacon butty. That was my first port of call for a bacon butty. And a huge cup of tea, it was amazing.

“I ate hospital food, exactly. I’m absolutely fine. As I say, if it wasn’t for Covid, I’d still be in the game. I’m gutted. I’m gutted, I really am.”

Asked if the show was what he expected it to be, Richard said: “Yes and no. The structure of the show I was really familiar with. But one of the reasons I wanted to do it, and I said yes this year as opposed to no all the years before, I was developing a real curiosity about what it’s like actually psychologically.

“I know what the games are like, I’ve done a few when I’ve been out on the ITV2 show in Australia. But I wanted to see what it was actually like, almost journalistically, in a nice way, from the inside. And that was a revelation.

“I learned that the psychological pressures on you… I mean the pressures you put us under when we went into The Clink, into the prison, I thought when you said you’re going to spend your first night in The Clink, I thought yeah that’s a funny gimmick for the cameras and for the audience… but no, we were properly in prison, we were locked in, huge gates and it was claustrophobic.

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“That was the intention of the game, you had to make us feel as if we really were in prison and it worked. So I realised that the psychological pressure of that, and then the other Trials and the challenges that we were all going through and I was going through – I know it’s only television, but when you’re in it it’s real, it really is.”

And asked what was the toughest bit he said: “Night time, sleeping, because we had very thin mattresses, much thinner than in the top camp and not very warm sleeping bags. Really cheap, frankly, sleeping bags. And covered in straw, on the floor, very thin, it was freezing in there. We were always cold. We had to get all of our clothes out of our bag and put them over us to keep us warm at night.”

Richard also reflected on facing the latest trial before his exit: “In my experience, if you’re playing for meals for some starving colleagues, campmates rather, who haven’t had much more than beans and rice and there’s no salt in the beans and rice and there’s no pepper, no spices, nothing, it’s tasteless…

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“I don’t have a phobia about cockroaches and spiders, and snacks and rats and things, I don’t want to eat lunch with them but they don’t bother me too much, but I don’t like them. When you’re going for stars for meals for starving mates, that’s all you think about and you don’t really notice it.”

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Saying he’d miss all his former camp mates, Richard concluded: “Thanks for the opportunity. Thanks for asking me, I enjoyed it.”

I’m A Celebrity continues nightly on ITV and ITV Hub.

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