I’m A Celebrity: Anne Hegerty admits she can ‘see a way ahead’

I’m A Celebrity: Anne Hegerty admits she can ‘see a way ahead’ after autism prevented her adapting to jungle life… as sympathetic Rita Simons reveals she has OCD

Her encyclopedic brain has both amazed and entertained camp-mates as they adjust to life in the Australian jungle

But TV personality Anne Hegerty revealed she initially struggled to cope with the drastic change in surroundings due to her autism – a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and restricted and repetitive behavior – during Monday evening’s edition of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Speaking to camp-mates at Snake Rock, The Chase star, 60, admitted she was slowly starting to strike a balance.

Opening up: I’m A Celeb star Anne Hegerty revealed she initially struggled to cope with the drastic change in surroundings due to her Autism – a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and restricted and repetitive behavior 

‘I’ve started to thinking I think I can sort of see my way ahead,’ she explained. ‘It’s also an autistic thing when you’re trying to work out what to do.


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‘I have to line up the mirror neurones up in my head and go this, this, this … It doesn’t have to be the same all the time but I actually have to work it out beforehand.

Sympathizing with the star, former EastEnders actress Rita Simons recounted an interview she had read in which Anne revealed that she didn’t realise that she was autistic until she was older.

‘It wasn’t until 2003, when I was 45,’ Anne confirmed.   

Let’s talk: Speaking to camp-mates at Snake Rock, The Chase star, 60, admitted she was slowly starting to strike a balance

‘I know one of the characteristics of a lot of autistic people is not picking up on social cues,’ said Rita. ‘You don’t seem to have that. You don’t at all.’ 

Evidently relieved, Anne admitted her initial inability with social interaction was something she started working on as a teenager, adding: ‘I was absolutely useless at it.’ 

‘So is it more a case of you’ve had to go, I should feel like this, so I should act like this because that’s how I’m supposed to react like now,’ mused Rita, attempting to grasp the fundamentals of the condition.  

I’m here for you: Former EastEnders actress Rita Simons sympathised with Anne, admitting she had been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an anxiety based mental health condition

‘Yeah I’m actually perfectly happy for the rest of you to be building the fire and boiling water but then I just sort of think come on Anne pull your weight,’ Anne replied.  

Reflecting on their conversation in the Bush Telegraph later that day, Rita admitted she could understand how difficult it must be for Anne to cope with such a drastic change in her immediate surroundings. 

‘I had read about Anne’s autism and of course she’s sitting trying to process all these new surroundings,’ she said. 

Sympathetic ear: Reflecting on their conversation in the Bush Telegraph later that day, Rita admitted she could understand how difficult it must be for Anne to cope with such a drastic change in her immediate 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.’ 

She added: ‘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 (as The Governess).’ 

Taking her own turn in the Bush Telegraph, Anne insisted she was happy to discuss the condition, but only if someone else broached the subject. 

Revelation: The discussion had clearly resonated with Rita, who admitted she used to be ‘a real light switcher, tap checker, I’d spend hours doing it’ when her OCD was at its worst 

‘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,’ she explained. 

‘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.’  

The discussion had clearly resonated with Rita, who later admitted she had been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an anxiety based mental health condition. 

‘How the hell are you doing this!’ exclaimed X Factor star Fleur East after the actress made the surprise admission. 

One to avoid: ‘An OCD person would not like my house,’ Anne told her. ‘It’s just sort of I just get overwhelmed by all the things there are to do, I’m like, I have no idea’ 

‘I’m not too bad with cleanliness and all of that,’ insisted Rita. ‘I don’t do any of the rituals any more. I used to be a real light switcher, tap checker, I’d spend hours doing it.’ 

Turning the conversation back to Anne’s Autism, Rita added: ‘It’s almost the complete opposite of you because yours is all logical and mine is all illogical. I don’t think you seem it at all. I wouldn’t know meeting you.’

But The Chase star was clearly doubtful, telling her: ‘There are things, I mean if you saw my home you’d know there was something very wrong.’ 

‘You’re a hoarder?’ asked Rita. 

‘Absolutely and messy. An OCD person would not like my house,’ Anne explained. ‘It’s just sort of I just get overwhelmed by all the things there are to do, I’m like, I have no idea.’ 

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues on Tuesday November 20, ITV1 at 9:00pm.  

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