I was trolled mercilessly after Ant and Dec mocked me on I’m A Celeb – I’ve still not had an apology

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Hollie Arnold attends the Caudwell Children Butterfly Ball at The Roundhouse on November 26, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Kate Green/Getty Images)

HOLLIE Arnold made TV history by becoming the first disabled star to appear on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

But the Paralympian’s memories from Gwrych Castle will forever be tarnished after she claims she was trolled by fans – after becoming the butt of hosts Ant and Dec‘s jokes.

Hollie Arnold MBE had a difficult time after leaving I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2020
The Paralympian says mockery from Ant and Dec led to trolling online

The Geordie duo made an ongoing gag out of Hollie using her MBE title while introducing herself to fellow campmates in 2020.

Hollie says the hurtful comments she received in response made her feel “ashamed” and even pushed her to remove the reference to the honour from her social media.

She tells HOAR: “I received so much abuse and read all of this horrible nonsense online.

“People thought I was above myself but I’m literally the most chilled and laidback person ever.

“Ant and Dec made that even worse and played on it, I got so much hate from people who didn’t know me.

“It got to the point where I took my MBE title off Instagram because it made me feel so ashamed.

“For the time being I’m using PLY – for Paralympian – but I shouldn’t have to, I should feel proud of what I have achieved.”

Hollie fought back the tears when she was the first to be voted off I’m A Celebrity – but was unaware of the heartache that was yet to come.

Hollie fought back the tears after becoming the first star to leave I’m A Celebrity 2020

She found herself unable to stop reading all the cruel comments online, which she believes the hosts were partially responsible for encouraging.

In one sketch, Ant corrected his co-star by stating that his name was “actually, Ant McPartlin OBE”.

Asked if Hollie had received an apology from the I’m A Celebrity hosts, she said: “No, I haven’t.

“You know that you are ‘fair game’ on the show but it would have been better if they said, ‘She didn’t mean it like that’.

“Unfortunately, when you go on these shows you expose yourself and online trolls are very hurtful.”

Hollie received her MBE in recognition of her services to field athletics, as part of the 2017 New Years Honours List.

The Paralympian says she introduced herself as “Hollie Arnold MBE” because she was instructed to by the camera crew.

“Whenever we were filming I was told to introduce myself with my title,” she said.

“Because I had never been on a TV show before, I thought I had to say it again.

“It made me look like I go around flaunting my MBE, which I don’t. It was completely taken out of perspective.”

Hollie reveals Sir Mo Farah nearly introduced himself with his honorary title too, adding: “Shane Richie accidentally interrupted him so he didn’t get to say his full name and title.

“I thought I would have needed to because no one knew who I was – I’m not a major celebrity like Shane Richie or Beverly Callard.

“I do wish I could take that back knowing I didn’t need to say what I was told to say.”

Hollie received her MBE for services to field athletics

Hollie’s time on I’m A Celebrity came to an end on Day 13, when she was voted out by the public.

Despite having a difficult time after leaving the show, she still maintains she is proud to have done it.

“I am thankful and really grateful, I was the first disabled person on the show,” she said.

“I wanted to show other people with disabilities that it doesn’t matter what you look like or have, it’s what you do with it.

“I didn’t want people to say, ‘Oh bless, look at her she’s disabled’, I wanted them to see my abilities.

“While I did receive abuse I had some great feedback and am proud of what I achieved.”