I’m A Celeb’s Sam Thompson details hidden health woe which almost made him quit

Sam Thompson receives warm welcome after leaving camp

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! winner Sam Thompson has revealed he almost quit the show on day one after suffering from a panic attack. Reflecting on his jungle experience, Sam, 31, explained how while he seemed to be the most upbeat campmate, it took him a while to get used to the “overwhelming” life in camp, which resulted in him feeling unwell.

Sharing all to best friend Pete Wicks on their Staying Relevant podcast, he began by explaining that campmates each have a chaperone and have to isolate alone in a room with “no internet, no phone” or loved ones for a week. He shared: “I think they do it to get you in the mindset of like, ‘Oh My God, you’re going to be isolated in this jungle’.

“It massively works because by the time you go in, you’re on a different planet.” On finally arriving in camp, he went on to say: “On the first day, when we go in, I had a panic attack. I went in really guns blazing, I was so excited, I was like, ‘Wahey everyone is here’ like energy through the roof and then suddenly it hit me what we were doing.

“I literally sat on my own and was like, ‘Oh My God’, my heart was going really quick and I was sweating and I really wanted to be sick. I thought either I’m really ill and I’m going to have to see the medic on day one, and I’m going to have to be like, ‘You might have to pull me out’.(sic)

“I had a full blown panic attack on the first day and people were coming up to me like, ‘Why are you being so quiet?’ and I was literally like, ‘I dont know, I dont know what’s going on’.” Reflecting on his health fears, Sam believes his panic attack was down to feeling overwhelmed by the “weird” experience which took some getting used to.

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“I needed a bit of time to climatise”, Sam added. “I was so overwhelmed with the whole experience, it’s a really weird experience when you first get in there, but then everyone was so nice so you then just forget you’re on a TV show.”

Sam was crowned King of the Jungle in an all-male final with Tony Bellew and Nigel Farage. While it’s likely more work will flood in for the jungle champ, he revealed his main focus is to make his and Pete’s podcast “the best ever” following the news their upcoming tour had sold out.

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In the episode, Pete also joked that seeing Sam’s new friendship with Tony had “destroyed” him. During the show, viewers couldn’t get enough of the pair’s bromance with many calling for them to host their own show together. During the final, one fan commented: “No, I can’t do it. I’m not ready to let go of the Tony & Sam bromance, NO I CAN’T! GIVE THEM A SHOW!”

Another typed: “ITV are 100 per cent making a show for Tony & Sam to go on adventures #ImACeleb.” A third wrote: “We need a Tony, Sam and Marvin [Humes] show asap #KingOfTheJungle.”

Speaking to Good Morning Britain after his jungle exit, Tony referred to Sam as his “fifth child” adding of their friendship: “He’s basically a unicorn, I’ve never met anyone like him in my life. He has such a kind, caring nature. Never sees the bad in anything.”

In his first tweet after the show, he added: “Made up for @SamThompsonUK he deserved to win it he really did as he’s a great lad. Went in there and refused to give up and just remained true to myself! Thanks for a boss experience!”

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