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Ferne McCann says settling for Towie fame made her depressed

The Only Way Is Essex reality TV star says she had dreams of making it big in Hollywood but found her mental health affected by the show.

Ferne McCann says her reality TV days left her feeling depressed. (LightRocket via Getty Images)
Ferne McCann says her reality TV days left her feeling depressed. (LightRocket via Getty Images)

Ferne McCann has admitted she was left feeling depressed by her reality TV fame as she had always dreamed of cracking Hollywood.

The Only Way Is Essex (Towie) star joined the ITV reality series following the dramatic lives of a glamorous group of friends in Essex in 2013, eventually leaving in 2016.

In an episode of Ellie McKay's On A Mission podcast, she told how she had been desperate to find fame, but although she was grateful to have been on Towie she felt that it had "massively, massively affected" her mental health.

Ferne McCann starred in Towie from 2013 to 2016. (PA Images)
Ferne McCann starred in Towie from 2013 to 2016. (PA Images)

McCann said of her life pre-fame, when she was working as a hairdresser: "I used to sit on the London commute, thinking I want to be on TV, I want to be performing. I want to be doing something like that and just had a real thirst for it."

She followed some of her friends into Towie and while she is pleased it gave her a launchpad into her high-profile career, which has included her own fly-on-the-wall documentaries about motherhood and taking part in Celebrity SAS, she said she felt uncomfortable about some scenes.

McCann told how she appeared alongside real-life friends and boyfriends, but felt she didn't always react as she would have done in normal life and found it difficult watching other people's reactions to her behaviour, saying that it was "confusing and it massively, massively affected my mental health".

TOWIE stars head out for dinner at Olivias La Cala  Featuring: Jessica Wright, Danielle Armstrong, Ferne Mccann, Bobby Norris Where: Malaga, Spain When: 23 Sep 2015
Jessica Wright, Danielle Armstrong, Ferne McCann and Bobby Norris all starred in The Only Way Is Essex. (PA/Alamy)

She added: "I had a pretty tough time on the show mentally...we'd have arguments on the show and then I would be left feeling absolutely horrendous and really down and quite depressed and being like, 'I just want to get out of this show. I need to move on to something'."

McCann continued: "I wanted to be in Hollywood, but I ended up you know, in reality... I didn't quite get the Hollywood movies, but here we are. I just always loved that celebrity culture and wanted to be in the limelight. And then you get there and you're like, ‘what have I done?’ Like, nothing comes easy, does it? It's not gonna be like, all singing and dancing, and I thought it was going to be an amazing lifestyle. You know, if you're famous you have it all."

For confidential emotional support contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org

Read more: Towie