Gemma Collins explains I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! exit

The TOWIE star left the jungle saying she's become a "puppet" version of Gemma and needed to find her real self

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This morning ITV confirmed that TOWIE’s Gemma Collins had quit I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! after struggling to settle into jungle life. 

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Gemma’s been vocal about her discomfort – crying as the prospect of a possible three-week stay sank in and at one point worrying she had malaria.

She thought she’d be the sort that would last the course – apparently “like the turtle and the slug” – but it wasn’t to be. It probably doesn’t help that she was in this year’s ‘celebrity slammer‘, a jungle jail with very little space and only porridge for all of their daily meals.

Tonight it was clear Gemma was swinging between wanting to stay and wanting to leave. 

“I’ve got to go. Three days. I’ve just got to get out of here. You have to get me out of here,” she said in the Bushtucker Telegraph – “It’s making me feel panicked and stressed. It’s not normal.”

“It’s not [the] food or anything, I just want to get out. I’m not cut out for it,” she later explained to her fellow jailbirds, model and singer Nadia Forde and actor Craig Charles. “If I’m less famous for it, I don’t care. I’m just not cut out for it. It’s the right thing for me to do. It’s not me having a diva fit.”

Back in the Telegraph to “clear her head” she continued: “I’ve got to get out of here. I cannot go another ****ing day in here. It’s not on. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I will never ever do a show like this ever. It’s put me off TV for life. I’m telling you now. It’s winding me up now. This is bull****, man. I can’t handle it. Just get me out of here. I certainly won’t be coming back for more. That’s for sure. Ever, ever, ever, ever.”

Things seemed to be on the up for Gemma, who was finally rescued by the campmates in Croc Creek, entertaining the campers with her tales of woe from the jail. “I actually started to think I was in a real jail and that I couldn’t get out,” she told them.

But the change in mood didn’t last long. Even Jimmy offering to go to the pool later “for a right scream” wasn’t enough to tempt her to stay.

“It’s hell, this is hell. I just can’t do it. It ain’t for me. I’ve found it really difficult, waking up and feeling panicked every day. I love myself too much to put myself through this… I have to look after number one. I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! I have to go. I have to start living my life the way I want to live it and this isn’t it.

“It’s a personal decision that I’ve had to make for myself, but it’s the right one. This is right for me and I have to go with that. I’m so out of my comfort zone that it’s made me realise the girl I always was. I’ve become a character, a puppet of Gemma. That is not the real me. No amount of money would keep me here. I feel so amazing and strong and me that I will never, ever regret this. I believe this is the start of me now and nothing’s going to change it.”

Her final words on the matter: “This is the most life-changing thing I’ve ever done.”

Not that Ant and Dec could let that go without a quick jibe. You know what she’ll take away, they joked? “Air miles.” 

That leaves nine celebrities left in the jungle, with that food task coming up tomorrow night for US TV personality Kendra Wilkinson and former footballer Jimmy Bullard.

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I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues tomorrow night at 9:00pm on ITV