With just two days to go until this year’s I’m A Celebrity kicks off on ITV1, it’s been revealed that former Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan – who arrived in Brisbane earlier this week to prepare for her stint in the jungle – will be permitted to skip some of this year’s Bushtucker trials amid fears that doing them could set off a panic attack.
When Helen left Corrie – and her role as Rosie Webster – she cited having depression and uncontrollable panic attacks on-set as the reason she quit, and though she reckons she’s much better now, she does still have some panic attacks.
However, one of her fellow contestants, who didn’t want to be named, told the Mirror that being exempt from the tasks will create resentment toward Helen.
The celeb said, “It wouldn’t be fair on everyone else as producers wouldn’t want to take any chances…
“You have to question how many tasks she could miss.”
However, a production source said of Helen, “People need to give her a break.
“A number of celebs in the past – such as Gillian McKeith – have been allowed to be exempt.”
Speaking in 2011 before she left Corrie, Helen said, “I have recently suffered a few panic attacks.
“And as anyone who has ever suffered from them knows, they are very scary.
“I didn’t know what might have caused it. I am trying to work out what triggers them.
“It was the main reason I had to leave Coronation Street. I don’t think I was very well.”
However, Helen added that she’s determined to get through I’m A Celebrity.
She said, “I am fearful of heights. I have never jumped out of a plane and I don’t even like rooms high up in a hotel.
“I will scream if I see a spider at home but we will all be in the camp together and we will all deal with it.”
Another show source said, “There are often celebrities who are exempt from trials for medical reasons.”
However, a show spokesman added, “Helen is not excluded from taking part in any activities in the jungle.”
Meanwhile, it’s been reported by the Daily Star today that ITV bosses have a whole host of embarrassing things for Tory MP Nadine Dorries to do, one of which is recreating “the pelvic-thrusting Eric Prydz dance routine with fellow I’m A Celebrity contestants.”
The paper adds that Nadine will also – as part of a task – be sent into the “gingerbread house” love den with fellow contestant former Doctor Who star Colin Baker, and the show’s bosses are hoping that she will flirt outrageously with Colin.
A show insider said, “It’s going to cause more backlash back home if she is seen dressing in Lycra working out, shacked up with Doctor Who in a den and slipping down a kids’ slide.
“Look how George Galloway ended up a laughing stock when he dressed in Lycra and pretended to be a cat on Celebrity Big Brother.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron said, “When she gets back from the jungle she can explain what she’s been up to and why.
“Obviously Nadine and I have had some run-ins over the years but I think the Chief Whip has done the right thing.”
O man I can’t wait for this year’s show! Are you excited to see Nadine embarrassing herself?
Here’s a clip of Edwina Currie and Christine Hamilton speaking about Nadine’s participation in the show this year…