Richard Madeley reveals ‘psychological pressure’ before funny turn on I’m a Celeb

RICHARD Madeley has revealed the “psychological pressure” he suffered inside The Clink before taking a “funny turn” on I’m A Celebrity.

The presenter, 65, joined hosts Ant and Dec for a pre-recorded interview on tonight’s show.

Richard Madeley has described his time in the castle

Richard Madeley has described his time in the castleCredit: Rex

Asking how he was feeling after his hospital dash, Richard said: “I feel as fit as a fiddle and I am fit as a fiddle. And you know if it wasn’t for Covid I’d be back there sort of eating rice and beans.

“I had to leave… it’s a Covid situation. It’s still biting our bums isn’t it? What happened was, I had just a funny little turn quite sort of late in the morning.”

He continued: “ITV are so good with duty of care. They were adamant. They said ‘No, we have to make sure that you’re OK.’ I said, ‘But I am OK.’ They said, ‘We have to make sure.’

“So I went to the local hospital – I was only in there for about an hour and a half – I was given really thorough checks and I was given a completely clean bill of health, I’m absolutely fine. No matter what you might have read, I’m absolutely fine.”

Asked if the show was what he expected it to be, Richard said: “Yes and no. The structure of the show I was really familiar with.

“But one of the reasons I wanted to do it, and I said yes this year as opposed to no all the years before, I was developing a real curiosity about what it’s like actually psychologically.

“I know what the games are like, I’ve done a few when I’ve been out on the ITV2 show in Australia.

“But I wanted to see what it was actually like, almost journalistically, in a nice way, from the inside. And that was a revelation.

“I learned that the psychological pressures on you… I mean the pressures you put us under when we went into The Clink, into the prison, I thought when you said you’re going to spend your first night in The Clink, I thought yeah that’s a funny gimmick for the cameras and for the audience… but no, we were properly in prison, we were locked in, huge gates and it was claustrophobic.

“That was the intention of the game, you had to make us feel as if we really were in prison and it worked.

“So I realised that the psychological pressure of that, and then the other Trials and the challenges that we were all going through and I was going through – I know it’s only television, but when you’re in it it’s real, it really is.”

Despite The Sun revealing there are heaters inside the castle, Richard insisted it “was genuinely cold.”

Revealing what he found the toughest, he said: “Night time, sleeping, because we had very thin mattresses, much thinner than in the top camp and not very warm sleeping bags.

“Really cheap, frankly, sleeping bags. And covered in straw, on the floor, very thin, it was freezing in there.

“We were always cold. We had to get all of our clothes out of our bag and put them over us to keep us warm at night.” 

After being discharged from hospital, starving Richard admitted sneaking off to the canteen for a bacon butty.

Richard said: “But I did hang on after I was discharged for about 20 minutes because I went to the canteen, seriously, and had a bacon butty. That was my first port of call for a bacon butty. And a huge cup of tea, it was amazing.

“I ate hospital food, exactly. I’m absolutely fine. As I say, if it wasn’t for Covid, I’d still be in the game. I’m gutted. I’m gutted, I really am.”

On being disappointed about wanting to be voted to do another Trial and prove he could do it, Richard said: “I meant it, I would long to have gone back and done it again.”

Asked which Castle buddies he’ll miss he said: “Oh blimey, I’ll miss David, I’ll miss Louise, I’ll miss Arlene because they’re very sweet people, they really are. He’s very macho isn’t he? He’s sort of your wing man. He’s a very thoughtful, kind man and he was very comforting at times to people. I’ll miss them all.”

“Thanks for the opportunity. Thanks for asking me, I enjoyed it.”