Gillian stressed that she has a ‘medical history of fainting’ (Picture: ITV/Rex)
The current series of I’m A Celeb has seen stars including David Ginola and Frankie Bridge acclimatise to life inside the Gwrych Castle in Wales, bidding farewell to Dame Arlene Phillips, Kadeena Cox and Snoochie Shy as the first campmates are voted out of the competition.
Despite starring on the ITV reality show over a decade ago, Gillian is undeniably one of the most memorable contestants, being voted to do several gruesome Bushtucker Trials in a row before fainting at the prospect of facing another.
While speaking to Metro.co.uk, the former host of You Are What You Eat admitted that she doesn’t know why the moment that she fainted is still remembered so many years later as one of the most unforgettable scenes on the programme.
When asked how she feels about those who believe that she pretended to faint – with presenter Ant McPartlin dubbing it one of his ‘favourite’ moments’ – the 62-year-old said: ‘I don’t really care what people think of me.’
The TV personality said that she has ‘a history of fainting since childhood’, saying that one of the earliest incidents occurred when she was four or five years old when she thought that she saw Santa Claus outside the window.
Gillian said that she fainted on another occasion just before the vows at a wedding when she was a bridesmaid, and another time at a health convention.
‘I wish I could understand why, but it’s either if I’m really excited or in the case of the jungle, I was literally weak from no food, I hadn’t eaten,’ she said.
The writer stated that on the day of the live show when she fainted, she had consumed ‘minimal’ food for the previous two days, while also enduring rain overnight that left the celebrities ‘freezing’.
‘I didn’t feel good, I didn’t feel well. I even told them that I don’t feel good, I think I should not go at all today,’ Gillian said, clarifying that she expressed concern over not feeling well before she went to the trial.
‘I felt so exhausted, so weak, cold because of the night before not sleeping. I didn’t feel good, I felt really dizzy and very, very light-headed anyway.’
Ant and Dec were caught unawares as Gillian fell to the ground (Picture: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock)
Gillian recollected telling Sheryl Gascoigne that she wasn’t feeling up to scratch, adding that she made the same admission in the Bush Telegraph, where she said that she didn’t think she should join the rest of the cast.
‘I didn’t even know what was happening, I didn’t know what was going on, so I can’t remember if I knew it was a live trial. I was just so used to going out all the time because I was doing all the trials, so I didn’t know what the trial would entail, I didn’t know anything about it,’ the presenter said.
In the end, the TV personality said that she felt ‘obliged’ to go, before discovering that she had been voted for yet another trial.
As Gillian fell to the ground, a medical team rushed to give her oxygen as Ant told the audiences watching live at home that they were going to cut to an advert break before seeing whether she would be able to participate.
In the end, Linford Christie took part instead, winning 12 out of 13 stars in the Unfairground trial.
Over the years, there has been continued speculation that Gillian pretended to faint rather than fainted for real, with the stars of Loose Women in 2010 calling into question how she knew to pull her top down while receiving medical attention.
‘I actually have a medical history of fainting,’ Gillian said.
‘I know I fainted and I don’t care what anyone else says to be honest, it doesn’t really bother me. The older you get, the less you care anyway.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted ITV for comment.
I’m A Celebrity returns tonight at 9pm on ITV.