Carol Vorderman has spoken about her fear of drowning while shooting one of the trials on I’m a Celebrity... South Africa.
The former Countdown presenter had been competing on the all-star edition of the popular ITV reality series I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, before exiting the show at the start of the semi-final on Thursday (11 May).
Vorderman, 62, revealed in an interview with The Mirror that she broke down in tears for 10 minutes straight after filming the “Tanks of Terror” trial earlier in the series alongside a fellow contestant, ex-athlete Fatima Whitbread.
For the trial, Vorderman and Whitbread had to swim underwater through large tanks with various animals in them. Each tank was covered with a perspex lid, with a small breathing hole in the middle.
“I was traumatised and my body went into shock afterwards,” Vorderman told the publication. “For me, it was even worse than it looked on TV. My two big fears are drowning and being trapped, so it combined the two.
“You had to use the breathing holes but I couldn’t see where they were and I was running out of breath. I tried to put my head up and started flailing around, then started gulping. It was so horrible,” she continued. “But Fats was saying, ‘Come on, you can do it’, so I had to swim through to the next tank and it seemed like miles. I thought, ‘I have got to try,’ but it all started to go to mush in my head.
“I felt like I might drown.”
Vorderman was able to win seven stars from the challenge – which yielded rewards for her and her fellow contestants – but was not able to complete the trial in full.
“When Fatima and I were walking on the path back to camp, I just started sobbing,” she revealed. “You saw a few tears on TV but it was like proper ‘from the belly’ emotion. It was just like this massive trauma, really. So I was quiet for a few days after that.
“I knew that I was safe, as ITV surrounded us with safety officers so nothing can go horribly wrong. But in the moment you’re not thinking about that.”
The grand final of I’m a Celebrity... South Africa airs at 9pm on Friday 12 May on ITV1.