Naughty Boy hopes to raise awareness of dementia while on I’m A Celebrity

·3-min read

Naughty Boy has said he hopes to have conversations about dementia while on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! to raise awareness about the syndrome.

The music producer and DJ, whose real name is Shahid Khan, was due to take part in the show last year but had to decline as he lives with his mother who has dementia and felt there was too much anxiety at the time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 36-year-old, who has worked with musical stars such as Beyonce and performed at Buckingham Palace in front of the Prince of Wales, will now face the harsh elements and bushtucker trials alongside 10 other famous faces on the upcoming series.

The ITV series is returning to Gwrych Castle near Abergele in North Wales for a second year due to ongoing coronavirus travel restrictions preventing filming at its usual location in the Australian jungle.

Khan has spoken openly about caring for his mother, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2017, which is described on the NHS website as “a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning”.

He said: “During last year in the first lockdown, I had to understand dementia in a different way because it was just me, my mum and mum’s live-in carer who stayed with us for the two months and wouldn’t go home.”

The British rapper explained that due to the constant news updates and talk of Covid-19, his mother’s dementia was constantly “triggered” and he said she would get anxious when he left the house.

Khan revealed he reached out to the charity Dementia UK during this period which helped him understand how his mother’s reaction was very common, and now hopes to share his learning while on I’m A Celebrity.

He added: “I’m hoping there is someone in the castle that has had some kind of experience with someone in their family or grandparents with dementia, and that would be a great conversation to have because there’s so much to learn, I don’t know everything, I’m learning as I go.

“I think that’d be a good conversation for us to have and for the viewers to watch because no-one’s going to expect me to go in and talk about (that).

British Asian Trust reception – London
Naughty Boy has performed for royalty (Alastair Grant/PA)

“This is me, going in as Naughty Boy, but also as Shahid Khan, and I’m quite a private guy.

“I like having my mystery, I’m not going into the castle to lose all of my mystery but I definitely want to be honest and open and I want to share stories and learning, because we’re forever learning.”

The British rapper also revealed his luxury item was a cushion with a picture of his mother on it and he said she wants him to come home crowned the king of the castle.

– I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! starts on Sunday November 21 at 9pm on ITV and ITV Hub.

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