Andrew Maxwell has defended his I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! campmates James Haskell and Ian Wright in the wake of bullying claims – despite appearing to have been one of their regular targets.
The comedian was the second person voted out of the 2019 series of the ITV jungle show, and fans had become increasingly uncomfortable watching footage of former professional sportsmen Haskell and Wright appearing to gang up on him over squabbles about camp tasks and challenges.
Ex-rugby union player Haskell was also accused of bullying when he branded the rest of the celebrities “a circus of stupidity” because they wanted to debate the answer to a Dingo Dollar question rather than making a snap decision.
But in his exit interview with hosts Ant and Dec, Maxwell defended Haskell and Wright, blaming tough conditions for their outbursts.
He said of ex-Arsenal forward Wright, who he regularly clashed with: “I love the man. We are really similar. Everybody’s a family man or family woman but I think both of us are on the same level, and got on the same rhythm of being down and missing our families at the exact same time.
“There was never even a moment of personal animosity. It’s learning to live with other people.”
Read more: Adele Roberts addresses voting app error
Maxwell added of Haskell: “James is either relentlessly keeping people’s spirits up with banter, or he’s constantly consoling and supporting people. Being a life coach.
“The only thing outside of that is he hates dithering. So any dithering on a Dingo Dollar answer, it just absolutely flips his lid.
“We’ve got all day to dither. But again, if you don’t expose some sort of weak point while you’re here for weeks on end, what are you? You’ve gotta be a robot.”
She said: “He definitely had a hangry episode, he definitely had his mental day, but he seems to be coming back up a bit now.
“I think he just had a really grumpy day. When you’re sleep-deprived and food-deprived and surrounded by people you’re not friends with in the outside world, you can have a really bad day.
“I think bullying was a really strong word and I wanted to just get in there and give him a big hug.”