Belfast Telegraph

I’m A Celebrity… aftercare is inadequate, says former jungle star Iain Lee

The DJ appeared on the 2017 series and has spoken about his depression.

Iain Lee was an I’m A Celebrity… campmate in 2017 (PA)
Iain Lee was an I’m A Celebrity… campmate in 2017 (PA)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Former I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! star Iain Lee says the aftercare for celebrities who have been on the TV show is “inadequate”.

The DJ appeared on the 2017 series of the show, which begins again on Sunday night, and has spoken about his depression.

His comments come after shows like Love Island beefed up the mental health care they offer contestants.

“The mental health care that you get before you go in is probably inadequate (and) when you come out it is definitely inadequate,” Lee told the PA news agency.

The broadcaster, 46, said not getting enough sleep, along with I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here’s gruelling challenges and lack of food, was “torture”.

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I’m A Celebrity hosts Ant and Dec (Matt Crossick/PA)

Lee, who has spoken of his own depression, wants the Government to recognise sleep as a fundamental human right.

He said of the jungle: “Sleep there was a nightmare. I’m a 6ft 4in man and for the most of it they put me in a hammock….

“You’d get to bed late at night if you were doing a midnight challenge… and then they’d wake you up ridiculously early to do the live show with Ant and Dec. You’d always have to look busy.”

He said a lack of sleep made the celebrities “ratty, miserable and upset”.

Lee, who is working with Eve Sleep on a campaign to highlight social and environmental factors which impact on sleep, said: “I get that that’s part of the show… but not having sleep is dangerous. It’s a form of torture…

“I’m not complaining about the jungle. I had a great time. It turned my career around, I loved it but let (this year’s contestants) Kate Garraway and Ian Wright have a decent night’s sleep.”

The DJ said of the show’s aftercare: “There certainly could have been more help.”

“I think they paid for a couple of sessions to see my psychiatrist which I would have seen anyway and I had a phone call asking if I’d like to come in and I said I didn’t want to go in and that was that…

“Meanwhile I’m going off the rails and going nuts. Not as a direct result of the jungle but immediately after the jungle I went a little bit nuts.”

Lee fell out with Rebekah Vardy during his time on the ITV show and she was accused of bullying him, something which Lee denied.

Vardy has since made headlines around the world after Coleen Rooney claimed her Instagram account was the source of leaked stories about her private life.

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Iain Lee was in the jungle with Rebekah Vardy (Ian West/PA)

Lee said of their feud: “I know I didn’t like her (Vardy) and I didn’t get on with her (in the jungle) but I also don’t like Twitter pile-ons….

“Seeing a whole country pile on to a pregnant woman in that way that people do, made me very, very uncomfortable.

“Whatever I thought about her. I didn’t get on with her and I didn’t like her, I still wouldn’t wish anybody attacking a pregnant woman like that.”

A spokeswoman for I’m A Celebrity… said: “The safety and wellbeing of all of our campmates is our number one priority.

“All campmates have 24-hour access to both medical and psychological support during their stay in camp.

She added: “The duty of care of our contestants is of the utmost importance to us. We take the welfare of the celebrities very seriously and have measures in place to ensure they are supported at every stage of the process”.

Iain Lee is working with wellness brand Eve Sleep, as part of its Right To Sleep campaign, to lobby the Government to recognise sleep as a fundamental human right.

PA

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