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Richard Madeley has been forced to withdraw from I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! after he breached ITV’s Covid protocols by going to hospital.
The presenter, and Telegraph columnist, fell ill after taking part in one of the show’s trials and was taken by ambulance to a hospital close to the set in North Wales.
However, ITV requires contestants to remain in a Covid bubble, meaning Madeley was not allowed to return. He had spent less than a week on the show.
Madeley’s trial involved being drenched in offal, fish guts, and rotten fruit and vegetables. He told campmates afterwards that he was “freezing” as a result.
An ambulance was called at 5.45am the following morning to “reports of a medical emergency” at Gwrych Castle in Abergele, north Wales, where the show is being filmed.
Explaining what happened, Madeley said on Instagram: “I’m absolutely fine. I started to feel briefly unwell in the small hours of the morning and was taken to hospital as a precaution.
“By leaving the camp, I had consequently broken the Covid ‘bubble’ and as such I’ve had to leave the castle and all the wonderful celebs that remain in the camp.
“Obviously I’m gutted to be leaving so soon but the safety of all the campmates is the number one priority. I’m incredibly excited to watch their journey continue… even more so at the prospect of being somewhere a little warmer than Gwrych Castle.
“Thank you to everyone who supported me on my brief but completely unforgettable adventure. I’ve made some great friends and honestly had the time of my life.”
Madeley had been one of the bookies’ favourites to win the show.
An ITV spokesman said: “Our strict Covid protocols mean Richard has sadly had to leave the show as he is no longer in the bubble the celebrities form when entering the castle. He has been a truly brilliant campmate and we thank him for being part of this series.”
Backlash over use of invasive crayfish
Separately, the makers of the show have avoided prosecution over the use of invasive crayfish in a challenge last year, leaving environmental campaigners furious.
The Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science said it had decided not to prosecute after the programme used Turkish crayfish in the 2020 series, which was filmed in Wales.
Jon Hulland, senior fish health inspector, said: “In line with our enforcement policy, the company responsible for the animals was issued with a formal warning as prosecution would not have been an appropriate course of action in this instance.
“We continue to work with the team at I’m A Celebrity and other partner government agencies regarding this year’s show and are currently happy that such an offence will not reoccur.”
Matt Shardlow, the chief executive of invertebrate charity Buglife, said: “We are disappointed that the flagrant disregard for biosecurity paraded on the nation’s TVs during ‘I’m a Celebrity... in 2020 did not result in a prosecution and conviction.
“It appears that when it comes to environmental crime, ignorance can be an excuse.”
ITV were approached for comment.