Gemma Collins quits I’m A Celebrity: ‘murderers are treated better than this’

Gemma Collins

‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this jungle lark,’ says Towie star after she was taken to celebrity slammer on ITV show

Gemma Collins, star of The Only Way is Essex (Towie), has quit ITV’s I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! after just three days in the Australian jungle.

Collins had been struggling to cope with life on the reality show after she and the other contestants, including Michael Buerk, Melanie Sykes and former footballer Jimmy Bullard, entered the camp on Sunday.

She said at one point: “People who murder get treated better than this. That’s the truth. Even a murderer gets fed three times a day.”

A spokesman for the show said: “We’re sorry to see Gemma go but respect her decision and wish her well.”

Her woes began after she and fellow contestants – actor Vicki Michelle and former World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty – were taken by a red Ferrari to a luxury villa in New South Wales before they were sent to the camp.

The trio were then taken straight to a “jungle jail” by helicopter, but Collins suffered a panic attack just before it took off.

She clambered out, pleading: “Can you stop a minute, please, I’m serious, just stop, I need to get out, seriously I’m going to be sick, I can’t do it, no way.”

Once out of the helicopter, she explained: “I got into the chopper and suddenly felt very scared but thought I can’t show anyone I’m scared, but I cried like a baby and I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this jungle lark.”

After making the journey by foot, she discovered the celebrity slammer was a small area in the jungle with prison-style bars and no beds.

Collins, who has appeared in Towie since 2011, also appeared in the ITV reality diving show Splash! earlier this year but was eliminated in the first heat.

This year’s I’m a Celebrity – the 14th series – launched with just over 10 million viewers on Sunday, putting it on course to be one of the most popular UK TV shows of the year once again.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jason Deans and agencies, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 19th November 2014 10.40 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010