Entertainment

Grace Dent ‘overwhelmingly sad’ after leaving I’m A Celebrity early

Restaurant critic Grace Dent arrives at Heathrow Airport, London, after leaving the ITV series I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (Aaron Chown/PA)
Restaurant critic Grace Dent arrives at Heathrow Airport, London, after leaving the ITV series I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (Aaron Chown/PA) Restaurant critic Grace Dent arrives at Heathrow Airport, London, after leaving the ITV series I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (Aaron Chown/PA)

Restaurant critic Grace Dent has said she is “overwhelmingly sad” after leaving I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! early on “medical grounds”.

The MasterChef star, who left the ITV reality show on Monday, wrote in a statement posted to Instagram on Thursday that her time on the programme showed her she is “physically stronger” than she thought.

Alongside a photo of her back home with a selection of images of her time in the jungle, the 50-year-old wrote: “Dear friends. Thank you for the outpouring of love I’ve received since I was removed on Monday.

“I am overwhelmingly sad right now, but determined to keep alive in my heart the huge personal breakthroughs I made over the weeks.

“I spent 15 days without a phone or any contact with loved ones, living much of the time outdoors in a rain forest in very wet weather.

“It gave me a short, sharp glimpse into the pain some folk worldwide endure. Normal life, forever, will always feel beautiful.”

Dent said she did not realise she had the “mental space” to complete some of the trials she was tasked with until she faced them on the show.

Among the challenges, she had to scale the side of a skyscraper and wear a helmet which was filled with critters.

She added: “The jungle showed me how quickly I could become blase about sleeping with hungry rats, noisy toads, moths and Huntsman spiders.

“It taught me that when you have to sleep close to the enemy the trick is to stay calm, have empathy and that screaming achieves nothing but wasted calories.

“The jungle showed me that I am physically stronger than I thought; I can carry a lot of logs and water up hill, build fire and eat hare innards at dawn for breakfast.”

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! – 2023
I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! – 2023 Restaurant critic Grace Dent arrives at Heathrow Airport, London, after leaving the ITV series I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! (Aaron Chown/PA)

The restaurant critic admitted she “didn’t go out as I planned or I wanted”, but hoped she put a “smile” on viewers’ faces.

“My plan is to recover … and when the adrenaline finally ebbs away, to make some serious plans for dinner”, she added.

“Three courses, extra potatoes, definitely pudding. I think I deserve it. I love you all and miss my jungle crew. Miss Grace Dent xxx”

The news of Dent’s departure emerged on Monday morning, with host Anthony McPartlin saying at the beginning of the next episode: “Sadly Grace Dent has left the camp for medical reasons but she’s doing fine and we all send her our best.”

During the episode, actor Nick Pickard announced the news to campmates by reading out a statement in which Dent said leaving at this stage would be “one of the saddest things in my life”.

She was pictured arriving back at Heathrow in London on Tuesday afternoon, sporting her signature large black-rimmed glasses and red lipstick.

On Wednesday, singer and actress Jamie Lynn Spears, the younger sister of Britney Spears, became the second celebrity to leave the show early for medical reasons.

At the start of last night’s instalment, McPartlin told viewers: “We’ve got some breaking news for you: Jamie Lynn Spears has left the camp on medical grounds.”

Declan Donnelly added: “The good news is Jamie Lynn is doing fine and she goes away with our best wishes.”

Later in the show, This Morning host Josie Gibson told campmates the 32-year-old had left.