OLIVIA Attwood was removed from ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’ because a blood test showed she was dangerously anaemic.
The 31-year-old reality star left camp just a day after the show launched when the routine screening contestants are regularly subjected to flagged worryingly low iron, sodium and potassium levels, prompting producers to have her sent to hospital for further tests, even though she felt “absolutely fine”.
Olivia told Politicalite: “I was so scared, I was like, ‘What the hell is wrong with me?’
“They couldn’t give me an answer, they just told me that they had to get me to the hospital immediately.
“The results were really, really low when they put them into their reader and they consulted with another doctor off site. I had those bloods done in England before I left, and they were fine. I was confused and of course very, very worried…
“I didn’t know what to think. I was wondering if I had picked up a virus, was I pregnant, all of these things were going through my head. It was absolutely frightening.”
The tests were repeated in hospital and came back normal, so Olivia assumed she would be cleared to return to the jungle – only to be left “absolutely devastated” when ITV executives told her she was too much of a risk to go back to camp.
Recalling how she spent the night in a hotel after being released from hospital, she said: “I tried to keep a hold of my emotions but it started to feel like I wasn’t going back, you know when you just get a feeling? It started to dawn on me that I was out for good.”
And of her subsequent meeting with producers, she added: “They said because of the results the show’s medical team got from my readings, they were not happy to sign me off to come back in, even though I had the clean bill of health from the hospital.
“If I went back into camp, they feared my levels might drop and it could be detrimental to my health and wellbeing. They were not willing to authorise my return and therefore I wasn’t insured.
“I was absolutely devastated. I’m not a crier but I started to cry, it was so emotional. I was heartbroken and gutted. I tried to keep my emotions in check and keep it in perspective, things could be so much worse.
“Then the show’s staff told me everyone liked me and I was favourite to win, so that leaving felt like a punch to the gut.
“Just two days before, I jumped out of a helicopter which I loved. I did a trial which I loved. I was so happy and elated. It was an extreme high to an extreme low. I felt empty.”
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs nightly LIVE from Australia on ITV nightly at 9pm – catch up on the ITV hub now.