I’M A Celebrity’s Vernon Kay has revealed the show left him “emotionally drained” and he cried many times over missing wife Tess Daly.
The presenter told how living in the castle for three weeks and being apart from his wife of 17 years took its toll on him mentally and physically.
Vernon, 46, said: “I still cry at Forrest Gump, so I expected to cry while I was on I’m A Celebrity. I even cried in the interview I did at the start of the series.
“And when you’re in there, you are emotionally drained because you are missing your family. I felt comfortable with that group of people that I could cry. I didn’t think about trying to stop myself from getting emotional.”
He added to Daily Star: “You are physically drained, too. We were eating nothing but rice and beans most of the time.
“I lost two-and-a-half stone – that’s weight I didn’t really have to lose.”
Vernon spoke about wanting to make Strictly host Tess and their daughters Phoebe, 16, and Amber, 11, “proud” before entering Gwrych castle in North Wales.
She reassured him that he had, with the star adding: “Tess is so, so proud. She is just elated. She said that all three of them jumped through the roof when I got to the final. They were glued to the TV.”
Vernon previously opened up about how lockdown helped him to “reconnect” with Tess and “get under the skin of their relationship”.
He said being around the Strictly host and their two kids 24/7 has helped them all get to know each other better.
In a rare interview about his private life, Vernon told Humans of XS Manchester podcast: “The positive thing is that it’s enabled us as a family to really get to know each other even better than you would as a family.
“When you think about it when you’re in a relationship, a working relationship, you wake up, you go to work, you get back and you have your dinner, kids doing their homework, you go to bed.”
Vernon said before lockdown he might only see his family for four hours on a standard working day.
He continued: “When you’re in lockdown and you’re spending 24/7 with each other it really gives you the chance to really kind of re-connect and get to know each other better, not better, but you really get under the skin of your relationships with your kids and your missus.”
Vernon and Tess – who married in 2003 – have spoken before about how they maintain strict rules strict to prevent their privileged life turning their daughters into “spoiled brats”.
Speaking to You magazine, Tess said: “You can’t their make life too easy, because you remove their will to succeed.”
She said they try to teach the girls that money must be earned.
Straight-talking Tess said: “I’d hate to have a spoilt brat – I’d think I hadn’t done my job properly. I want them to be appreciative. Right now, we’re setting up a pocket money system with my eldest.
“We’re doing rewards and we’ve explained that we can’t buy her everything.”