Fears ‘overwhelmed’ Chase star Anne Hegerty will QUIT I’m A Celeb after breakdown

20 November 2018, 07:51 | Updated: 20 November 2018, 08:38

Anne Hegarty was visibly upset after arriving in the I'm A Celeb camp
Anne Hegerty was visibly upset after arriving in the I'm A Celeb camp. Picture: ITV

Anne suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, which is making life in the jungle camp hard for her.

I’m A Celeb bosses fear The Chase star Anne Hegerty might QUIT the show.

The 60-year-old suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, which can make social situations overwhelming and hard to understand.

Last night viewers saw her being comforted by camp mates Rita Simons, Emily Atack and Fleur East, and producers allowed her to skip the first trial.

An insider told The Sun: “She was distressed after the first day and found it a bit much.

“Producers wanted to ensure she was fine, so have been checking in with her.

“They didn’t want to push her too soon and were pleased teammates rallied round her.

“She’s explained her autism means she struggles in some social situations and can need a timeout.

Anne was comforted by her camp mates when she got upset in camp
Anne was comforted by her camp mates when she got upset in camp. Picture: ITV

“Producers want to ensure she has space. Her wellbeing is of the utmost importance.”

After speaking to Anne about her autism, which wasn’t diagnosed until she was 45, Rita said: “I had read about Anne’s autism and of course she’s sitting trying to process all these new surroundings.

“I get it completely. She’s trying to figure out what the hell she’s doing here and how to move forward and she’s obviously started to get a bit of routine now because she’s happier.

“I’m glad she’s opened up about it because then she can say, look I’m just having one of my moments because she’s just got such a lovely nature and I think people don’t realise that because she plays with alter ego that like meaney.”

Later Anne explained in the Bush Telegraph that she had been bolstered by the heart-to-heart.

She said: “I didn’t raise the autism issue … but if someone else raises it, I make it quite clear that I’m happy to talk about it.

“I really appreciate how nice and sympathetic they’ve been to me and how supportive they are and it was nice that they said I actually pick up on social cues because I’m never quite sure that I actually do so that was nice to know.”

It’s not just her jungle-mates who have been supporting Anne as she gets used to her new surroundings.

Viewers have been tweeting kind statements in their droves, and fellow chaser Jenny Ryan has been lending support from home.

She tweeted: “I hope everybody watching at home appreciates just how far @anne_hegerty is going outside of her comfort zone.

"I'm proud of her for being so incredibly brave and challenging herself.

“Anne has Asperger's Syndrome which has a positive benefit on her quizzing ability but also means that a lot of things that us Neurotypicals don't think twice about are incredibly difficult and stressful for her.

“It's so much more of a challenge for the Governess than you presume.”

However, despite her being so upset in camp, her manager I sure that she would go the distance if she managed to get through the first week.

David Hahn said: “Anne’s lovely with a great sense of humour. If she can get through the first week, she’ll go the whole way.

“When she said she was doing the show, I asked, ‘Are you sure?’. But she wanted to inspire others with autism.”

Anne is sure to be delighted to know that she is well on the way to achieving her mission.

Yesterday the National Autism Society website crashed as people tried to learn more about Asperger’s after she spoke openly about it in camp.