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The TV judge, 49, has said he has escaped the “toxic” environment in the showbiz industry and completely reimagined his life as an eco-friendly farmer in rural Portugal.
For three months, he lived in a tent when he was on hand to build eco-friendly houses for refugees.
Among his latest projects, Mr Gardiner has been teaching landowners how to get the best from their allotment.
In a new interview, he told The Irish Mirror: "I have found a new life that isn’t about the toxic environment of the TV industry.
“My tenure on Dancing on Ice was always marred with controversy and lots of issues but the problem is, I didn’t realise how toxic it was until I left.
"It took me a while to decompress from it, I’ll be honest."
He has been logging his new life experiences on Instagram with his following.
In lockdown, Mr Gardiner said he “really struggled” with his mental health after he was forced to shut down his solo show when he couldn’t get support from the government.
A kind neighbour offering him work on her allotment inspired him to change his life and spurred him on to make the changes he has made today.
Never looking back, Mr Gardiner has said the changes have brought him “amazing adventures” and “greater compassion”.
He explained on Instagram: “I made significant changes to my life during one of the most unprecedented times in humanity. Those changes have brought many amazing adventures, lessons, knowledge, greater compassion, awareness, new friendships, Português residency and a sense of contentment and accomplishment I never imagined possible.
“I did it without any government handouts or other financial assistance. I reduced my expenses and learnt how to live a sustainable, virtually zero waste life that improves our environment, mental health and wellbeing.
“I’m an extreme person when I go for something I’m all in. I don’t expect or believe everyone should do what I’ve done, but really ask yourself what are you actually doing to reduce your own impact on the environment?”
Mr Gardiner quit his enviable role as a judge on Dancing on Ice in the summer of 2019.