Grace Dent’s ‘gaunt’ appearances on I’m A Celeb led friends to worry about star’s health as they now ‘just want her to get home’ after she quit show
- Read more: Meet the 2023 I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! campmates
Grace Dent’s friends ‘just want her home’ after fearing for the star’s health after her ‘gaunt’ appearances on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Fans had been left concerned for the food critic, 50, after she had begun to look ‘scarily unwell’ during her time in the jungle – and it was announced she had quit the show for good earlier on Monday.
On Sunday evening Grace was nominated for latest trial Down The Tubes with This Morning host Josie Gibson, only to pull out on medical grounds.
Grace has already been spotted at Brisbane airport as she prepared to head back to the UK, boarding the 11.25pm plane to Singapore.
And it is not a moment too soon for her inner circle, who have been left shaken by seeing Grace’s much-changed appearance on I’m A Celeb.
Worried: Grace Dent’s friends ‘just want her home’ after fearing for the star’s health after several ‘gaunt’ appearances on I’m A Celebrity
Jetting off: The food critic, 50, has already been spotted waiting for her flight back to the UK at Brisbane Airport
A source told The Sun: ‘Grace is hugely relieved to be out of I’m a Celeb. She pulled the plug because she couldn’t carry on, mentally or physically.’
READ MORE: Grace Dent reveals heartache after losing both her parents in the last five years
They continued: ‘She has lost a lot of weight and looks gaunt. Her friends just want her to get home.’
Grace’s pals began to notice something was wrong with the star from early on in the show being broadcast.
Their worries seemed to be confirmed when she failed to get involved in political discussions about Brexit between Nigel Farage and Fred Sirieix – something that is said to be very out of character.
The source added: ‘When she failed to get involved, it was clear she was feeling defeated.’
They said the anniversary of the death of Grace’s father, George, is coming up, which also would have been ‘playing on her mind’ during her week-long stint in the jungle Down Under.
Grace has previously spoken openly about the fact she has lost both her parents in the past ‘four or five’ years
On Monday night’s episode of I’m A Celeb, Grace left her campmates teary-eyed as she announced her departure in a goodbye letter.
Emotional: Grace Dent left her campmates teary-eyed with a heartbreaking goodbye letter on Monday night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity, read out by Nick Pickard
Upset: EastEnders’s Danielle Harold was reduced to tears at the news of Grace’s departure
She left a farewell message for her emotional campmates in the form of a laminated letter, which was read aloud by a teary Nick Pickard.
Grace admitted she believed she had ‘let down’ her campmates and said her heart was ‘broken’ following her exit as the campmates found out she had left the jungle for the first time.
The full statement read: ‘My Dear campmates, I’m so sorry to let you down. I have left the camp for medical reasons.
‘My heart is broken, I have loved and enjoyed getting to know you all. You’ve held me up and it’s been a pleasure being your friend through this experience.
‘Leaving you all at this stage will be one of the saddest things in my life. I love you all. Your friend, Miss Grace Dent.’
The letter was met with an outpouring of emotion from her fellow campmates, who chorused: ‘We love you Grace!’ as EastEnders’s Danielle was also reduced to tears.
Marvin exclaimed: ‘She hasn’t let us down,’ while Nella Rose said: ‘She’s like my pillar of strength. My little fairy godmother. As long as she’s happy I’m happy.’
Later on the group made a thoughtful toast to Grace over dinner as they enjoyed the meal Josie and Danielle had won in the trial.
An ITV statement read: ‘Unfortunately Grace Dent has left the show on medical grounds. She has been a great campmate and will be missed by her fellow celebrities and viewers alike’ (Grace is pictured just before entering camp with her trademark red lipstick)
Taking to X, formerly Twitter, viewers were also moved by the note, and wished Grace had more screentime while she was on the show.
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One said: ‘The campmates talking about Grace was lovely. It is a pity she didn’t get more airtime to see that side of her.’
On Monday it was revealed she had decided to leave after ‘losing all her energy’ in camp and reaching breaking point as she faced the prospect of doing another Bushtucker Trial.
Within three hours of the announcement being made Grace was spotted at Brisbane Airport as she made her return to the United Kingdom.
The food critic refused to talk to press at the airport and kept her head down as she rushed through the terminal.
Grace failed to raise a smile as she waited to check in and was spotted repeatedly rubbing her elbow as she waited in line.
At one point she was spotted using her phone as a mirror after she had sparked concerns among viewers with her ‘unwell’ appearance in the jungle.
She took advantage of having her creature comforts returned and sported her trademark red lipstick.
An insider has since revealed to MailOnline that Grace’s jungle exit was mutually decided between Grace and show bosses, who had intervened after seeing her visible deterioration in camp.
A source close to the MasterChef star revealed: ‘Grace decided to leave the jungle soon after it was announced that she would be doing the latest Bushtucker Trial.
‘Knowing that she would be facing another tough challenge was the straw that broke the camel’s back.’
They continued: ‘It was mutually agreed that she would stand down from the competition, it was clear that she wasn’t being herself, she had lost all energy when usually she’s witty and fun to be around.
Concern: Fans claimed they didn’t even recognise the usual bubbly and glam MasterChef star (pictured left on Friday’s show and right on MasterChef in 2021)
‘ITV’s duty of care and welfare teams had stepped in, and rightly so.
‘She had struggled since living in the camp with less amenities, the weather this year has been particularly miserable and as a restaurant critic, not eating well proved to be harder than she could have ever imagined.
READ MORE: I’m A Celebrity’s Grace Dent admits her heart is ‘broken’ in emotional goodbye letter
‘Grace is looking forward to seeing her loved ones now and after a few days of rest and recovery will be fine.’
Grace was eventually replaced by EastEnders’s Danielle Harold in the Down The Tubes challenge.
The restaurant critic has previously spoken about her strict diet, admitting she ‘has to monitor every day how much food I have to eat for work, how many restaurants I have to go to, just trying to keep a balanced diet.’
Speaking to WalesOnline in weeks before she entered the jungle Grace admitted ‘I don’t think I suit skinny. I look ill right away. I’m quite a curvy, busty type of person.
‘I have to be very careful about what I eat because I put on weight really easily. My family are just those types of people who come from an entire background of women who naturally fit about a size 16-18. Every woman in my family looked like that.’
‘But I know that when I get bigger, I then stop exercising. Once I stop exercising, I start feeling sadder. And then my health goes and I haven’t got enough energy.
‘So, I’ve always been on a health kick since I was nine years old, like almost all women. I have to be very conscious of what I’m eating.’
On the subject of the food in the jungle, Grace admitted even a professional like herself would struggle with a lack of herbs and spices to season food.
Day one: Grace was exuberated when she started her jungle journey, kicking off the show by taking on Pole Position, which involved dangling herself off a 32-storey building
Day seven: Grace was seen on Sunday night’s show looking a far cry from her glamorous self
She said: ‘Everything is filling me with a real sense of dread. But I am especially dreading being really hungry because I tend to eat four or five posh meals out a week because I am a restaurant critic.’
Predicting what was in store for her in the jungle, she continued: ‘I know they are going to give me an eating trial and I am dreading putting even worse things in my mouth than I have in the past in fancy restaurants!
‘I think I will be writing very stiff columns about the jungle food when I come out! Will I cook there? Yes, I am a practical cook but it is not cooking as we know it in the jungle…
‘What makes food is herbs and spices and I am not going to have any ingredients. I don’t know how you are going to make an alligator’s foot taste delicious if there are no spices…
‘I can already imagine the dinner I am going to have the moment I get out. I am going to go to a really fancy restaurant and have something delicious, wearing a lovely dress.’
Grace had struggled since kicking off her journey filming the Pole Position trial on Friday, November 24 and last week threatened to quit the show.
Prior to her jungle entrance, Grace had revealed she would be ‘strong and resilient’ in camp due to her past tragedies.
Grace shed light on her personal life, as she revealed she has lost both her parents over the past ‘four or five years’ and confessed she believed her loss would make her stronger on the show.
Terrifying: During Friday’s episode, Grace got a bug stuck in her ear as she went head-to-head for survival against Nella Rose in the Touchdown of Terror trial
Good news: Following the challenge, Grace was seen by the medic who managed to flush it out, and confirmed it has been removed
Starring role: Grace often appears on various TV shows critiquing people’s plates – you may have seen appear in MasterChef: The Professionals, Celebrity MasterChef, MasterChef UK
The star admitted she has ‘been through a really difficult time’ after she was a carer for her dementia-stricken father before he passed away while she later lost her mother to cancer within the short space of time.
She said: ‘This is going to be a big challenge and now I am older, life is for living and it’s one of the reasons why I said yes.’
ITV confirmed her departure on Monday with a statement that read: ‘Unfortunately Grace Dent has left the show on medical grounds. She has been a great campmate and will be missed by her fellow celebrities and viewers alike.’
Grace was born in Carlisle and went on to pursue further education at Stirling University, bagging herself an English Literature degree in the process.
During her time at university, Dent kicked off her journalism career, writing features for Cosmopolitan.
After leaving full-time education, she had quite the illustrious writing career, working as an editorial assistant for Vogue, and then a freelance journalist for various magazines such as Marie Claire, Glamour and more.
She also spent 12 years, from 2000 until 2012 writing about all things TV, before making her way to The Independent.
For six years she wrote a restaurant column dubbed ‘Grace and Flavour’, for The Evening Standard. The food critic is currently employed by The Guardian.
Restaurant critic Grace previously said: ‘I don’t think I suit skinny. I look ill right away. I’m quite a curvy, busty type of person’ but admitted ‘when I get bigger, I then stop exercising. Once I stop exercising, I start feeling sadder’
Accomplished: The food critic has had an impressive career, working for an array of titles including, Vogue, The Independent, Cosmopolitan and more (pictured in 2017)
Grace often appears on various TV shows critiquing people’s plates – you may have seen appear in MasterChef: The Professionals, Celebrity MasterChef, MasterChef UK.
She was also a judge on a BBC program called the Great British Menu.
But you won’t only find Grace in the kitchen, she has also appeared on an array of shows including, The Apprentice: You’re Fired, The Now Show on Radio 4, Have I Got News For You, Very British Problems.
The food critic has also appeared on Pointless Celebrities, The Review Show Film 2012, Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe, The Culture Show and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled.
Foodie Grace has also penned numerous novels over the years, and was even on the shortlist for the Queen of Teen prize in 2008. Amongst her books series’ for teenage audiences include Diary of a Snob, Diary of a Chav and LBD.
She published her first non-fiction book titled How To Leave Twitter (My Time as Queen of the Universe and Why This Must Stop) in 2011.
In 2012, Grace infamously shared her opinion on I’m A Celeb in a newspaper, writing: ‘Let’s be frank, I’m a Celeb, love it or hate it, is far from a deluxe viewing experience.
‘It is a puerile venture into starvation, televised constipation and animal cruelty, abbreviated by ads for Iceland £1 curries.’
Daddy’s girl: The star was a carer for her dementia-stricken father before he passed away while she later lost her mother to cancer within the short space of time (pictured with her father)
I’m A Celebrity 2023: Meet the campmates
Claim to fame: Former leader of the UK Independence Party and leader of the Brexit Party.
Phobias: Nobody likes rats, snakes and I am dreading anything to do with heights.
Biggest misconception you want to dispel?: I have been demonised over the years and so it will be nice to show people I am not nasty.
Role in camp: Lead on starting up plenty of campfire discussions.
Aside from your family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp?: A pint in the pub and the news.
Best & worst attributes: I hope to cheer people up when they are down. Worst? I am impatient and I do snore.
Dream camper: As a controversial political media figure, I never name names… But I am looking forward to meeting interesting people from all different fields
Claim to fame: EastEnders actress.
Phobias: Rats. I hate them!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: I can be a little ditzy at times but I am definitely not a ‘dumb blonde’. I want to show I can do the trials, challenges and get stuck in.
Role in camp: Shoulder to cry on, help others if they are feeling low in camp.
Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp?: Snacking. I am a little muncher and I am going to miss my morning cup of tea, too!
Best & worst attributes: I’d like to think I will be good if people are really struggling. I am not, however, very good at being bored, nor am I a morning person either.
Dream camper: Ed Sheeran. If he brings his guitar into camp, he can sing for us.
Claim to fame: First Dates star.
Phobias: I am scared of everything. I am dying to find out how vile the food will be!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: I don’t think there is anything but I am looking forward to learning more about myself during my time in the camp.
Role in camp: I will definitely muck in with all the jobs. I don’t mind cooking or cleaning the toilets.
Aside from your family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp? My bed. It’s super comfy. I will also miss a cup of coffee in the morning.
Best & worst attributes: I like to have fun but I do snore and I am impatient!
Dream camper: It’s going to be nice to meet everyone but I’d love to see Dolly Parton, The Rock or Snoop Dog in there.
Claim to fame: YouTuber and Catfish UK star.
Phobias: I am fearful of everything!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle? I am a pretty open book.
Role in camp: Keep the morale and humour high.
Aside from your family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp? My phone… I am always on it!
Dream camper: Alison Hammond or Adele.
Claim to fame: Hollyoaks star.
Phobias: I am a bit scared of the dark. When you go to the House of Horrors at Halloween and things jump out at you, I am not very good when I can’t see!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle: It will be nice to go in as me and not as my Hollyoaks character.
Role in camp: Grafter or chef, I am quite good at cooking. But I’ve never cooked on a fire before. Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp: Football and my creature comforts.
Best & worst attributes: I’d like to think I am a nice person and a good team player. I am not lazy but I do have a few bad habits like picking my nose. My girlfriend has been trying to train me to stop!
Dream camper: Sir Alex Ferguson or Neil Warnock.
Claim to fame: Champion Jockey
Phobias: I am not sure as I don’t walk across rooftop planks in the middle of the day nor do I have any snakes or rats in the house!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle: None. I’ve lived in the public domain for as long as I can remember so I’d hope everyone knows me well.
Role in camp: To have fun with everyone, I am a happy-go- lucky person.
Aside from your family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp? Travelling. I have spent my whole life at airports and I’ve got to like it!
Best & worst attributes: I am outgoing and I am a fighter. Worst? I can’t sit still and I am impatient.
Dream camper: Robbie Williams would be fun.
JAMIE LYNN SPEARS
Claim to fame: Zoey 101 and Sweet Magnolias star.
Phobias: I am scared of everything.
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: I think this is a nice chance to show who I really am.
Role in camp: Hopefully I will be the one who can support everyone.
Aside from family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp? A normal bathroom, air conditioning and my bed.
Best & worst attributes: I think my best quality is it takes a lot to hurt my feelings; but I am impatient and my family would say I get in a bad mood a lot.
Dream camper: Nicole Kidman, she is my favourite actress in the whole wide world, or Reece Witherspoon.
Claim to fame: Made In Chelsea star and radio presenter.
Phobias: I am not a creepy crawly guy and I hate anyone or anything touching my neck.
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: Since the age of 21, I’ve spent my whole life on TV and so I feel whether people have a good or bad opinion of me, it’s probably warranted!
Role in camp: I’m a ‘yes’ man so cooking, cleaning I will do whatever they want me to do.
Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp?: I know this sounds lame but gaming.
Best & worst attributes: I’d like to think I am the court jester and I don’t take things too seriously, so if anyone is having a bad day I would like to put a smile on their face. Worst? I am quite forgetful and I am bad at focusing on things.
Dream camper: Stephen Fry. I think I would self-combust if he was going in the jungle!
Claim to fame: This Morning presenter.
Phobias: Insects and I freeze every time I see a spider and I am not sure what I am going to do if I am in a trial with them!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle?: I would like people to know I am very clever at knowing useless information!
Role in camp: Mum. I am very motherly and I also love chatting to people.
Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp?: Getting up to blow dry my hair and putting a bit of make-up on!
Best & worst attributes: I am an optimist and I love meeting people from all walks of life. Worst? I can be quite nosey and I am worried about my temper if I am too hungry.
Dream camper: Dawn French, I love her.
Claim to fame: JLS star.
Phobias: Heights. I have pulled out of a skydive with JLS in the past because I was too scared!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle: To show I am not just a member of a boy band. It will be nice for people to learn more about me.
Role in camp: I’d like to think I will be a shoulder to cry on and a mediator.
Aside from family, what will you miss most whilst in camp?: My fantasy football app! I am obsessed with it! Four weeks without music is a long time, too.
Best & worst attributes: I’ve got three children under the age of ten and you definitely need a lot of patience for that! Worst? Rochelle would probably say I get ‘hangry’ if I don’t have enough food.
Dream camper: Paddy McGuinness – I’ve done Soccer Aid with him before and I know he’s funny, he gets stuck in and he is hands on.
Claim to fame: MasterChef star and food critic.
Phobias: Horrible people.
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle: People think I am quite forthright and scary but I don’t think I am scary! Hopefully people will see this.
Role in camp: Shoulder to cry on and I am a practical cook so I can help out.
Aside from your family, what will you miss the most whilst in camp? My three cats and my make-up bag. I love a bit of glamour.
Best & worst attributes: I would like to think I am funny! My worst quality is lack of sleep. I like my sleep.
Dream camper: Queen Camilla. She would be very practical. And Madonna – she could perform tracks from her Greatest Hits tour!
Claim to fame: Former champion boxer
Phobias: Like most normal people, I am scared of almost everything.
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the jungle: People will portray me as something I am not because of the profession I have had. I am just a normal person.
Role in camp: I’d like to think I am domesticated so hopefully I can help out.
Best & worst attributes: I do get hangry…who doesn’t! But I am easy going and I get on with everyone.
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