I'M a Celebrity contestants have been warned that North Wales is "colder than the North Pole" by a traumatised reality star who said they won't be able to handle it.
Maura Dore, 20, was left bruised, battered and worried she had hypothermia after less than three weeks competing on The Bridge show on the windswept Llyn Brenig reservoir.
The site is just 11 miles west of Gwrych Castle, where I’m A Celeb starts filming on Sunday – but her ordeal finished in September long before the Welsh winter kicked in.
In an exclusive interview, Maura revealed: “I had packed mainly shorts and leggings because I thought it was going to be warm and sunny – biggest regret of my life.
“It was freezing. I can’t even begin to explain how cold it was – it was colder than the North Pole.
“I feel sorry for the I’m A Celebrity contestants, I really do, because it will be even worse for them.
“I wore two pairs of thermals during the day and I was still shaking. I cried so much at night that one of the other contestants gave me their blanket to keep warm.”
London-based Maura adds that the long days heaving logs to build the bridge in the pouring rain led to concerns that she was suffering from a serious medical condition.
I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! contestants can expect similar hardships in the damp, dark castle they have been forced to head to this year due to Australia being in lockdown.
The show has already been cut from 22 to 20 days to limit the star’s exposure to the elements and they have also been issued with extra warm clothing.
The Bridge was filmed for 20 days, finishing on September 9, with contestants sleeping in cabins at night.
Hotel entertainer Maura, originally from Kildare in Ireland, has shocking pictures of her bruised legs.
She said: “I was convinced I had hypothermia on day three. My whole body was shaking, the room started spinning and I found it hard to catch my breath. It was bad.
“My legs were also covered in strange black marks, it was like my body was failing. I went to see the medics and they took a prick of my blood to check I was OK.
“I’m still not sure what was wrong with me.
“We had lashing rain every day but four and the wind got so bad one day that we had to stop filming and take cover before someone got injured.
“It was impossible to get dry from the rain and the water. My jumper was wet, my socks were always wet and my feet were wrinkled and nasty.
“No one showered because it was so cold – we all stayed smelly – and we had to get up at 6am and work on the bridge for around eight hours a day.
“Some of the contestants couldn’t handle it and were talking about leaving.
“It changes the mood when you are so cold. You are irritable and miserable. If you are willing to eat a kangaroo’s privates then hopefully you are ready for the cold.
“But there were times in Wales when I said I’d rather eat kangaroo balls than be here.
“We were in beautiful surroundings but my gosh, the mud and the cold, it would have been nicer if we were filming in Australia.
“My advice to the I’m A Celebrity contestants is, ‘Just hug everyone.’ Pretend you’re a friendly person and get as much of their body warmth as you can.”
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