I’m A Celebrity’s Matty Lee says he has a special ‘bond’ with Frankie Bridge after she supported him after show
I’M A Celebrity’s Matty Lee has opened up about his special “bond” with campmate Frankie Bridge after she supported him after the show.
The Olympic gold medallist, 23, said he’s developed a strong friendship with The Saturday’s singer and admitted that she’s helped him adjust to life since appearing on the show.
ITV viewers watched the pair bond during a very open about Frankie’s struggles with anxiety and depression.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Matty said: “I mainly properly stay in contact with Frankie, we were so close in the castle and we had a lot to relate to and we had that chat about mental health and her struggling with it and I think we kind of bonded on that.”
Matty said that Frankie had initially thought that he had been prompted by bosses to have that conversation in camp – but admitted that he was “genuinely curious” which triggered the conversation.
He said: “After the show Frankie asked if I got asked to ask about that [her mental health] and I was like, ‘no what? they prompted peoples conversations?’
“I’m not used to TV, I’m an athlete. So apparently that’s a thing but I was just genuinely curious and wanted to ask you about it because I care and wanted to listen.”
The British diver praised Frankie for her support after the show when he was feeling low and compares her to a “big sister”.
“Times when I’d come back from training, this was when I was a little bit younger, I was living at home with my mum and dad and I’d be like I don’t want to do it anymore,” Matty said.
“I’m fed up of it, it’s hard. It is because you are missing out on your normal life.
Matty continued: “After the show we’ve been staying in contact and she’s literally like my big sister, she’s not worried about me but she’s like ‘are you alright matt?’
“It’s really good with ITV, with shows like that you get psychology support which is really good and it’s needed.
“Now I understand why it’s needed because all of a sudden you’re on mainstream TV every single day and you feel part of something big and them you go back into your normal life and but it’s not the same and things are dull and boring and not as exciting.
“I was speaking to Frankie and she asked how I was and she calls me ‘Matty Moo’ and I said I was feeling a bit crap and she said she was feeling the exact same way and we bonded on that…she’s awesome.”
The sport star also revealed that Coronation Street star Simon Gregson has continued to make his fellow campmates chuckle.
“There is a WhatsApp group and all of us are in it and to be fair it’s constantly full of Simon Gregon, the typical fun uncle, he obviously gets sent stuff and forwards it almost everyday and I love it,” Matty joked.
Matty opened up about his own experiences of bullying and admitted that he was “punched” for just for being a diver at school.
Discussing how it affected him, he said: “At the time, I was different, no one really in my school was going home early to train or do a sport especially no diving.
“If it was football or tennis but because it was diving such a strange sport at the time, it was not very popular.
“It was hard, as a kid going through school and my sport means I have to wear little trunks, the bullying just naturally happened.
“That is just school in a way and it’s annoying that you have to say that but it just is that what happened.
“People are either jealous of what you do or just find it weird and different so they have to make a point out of it.”
He said: “I didn’t experience horrific bullying but I definitely got bullied and there were a few times when I was scared to go to school. I was like ‘mum I don’t want to go’ and at the time it was rubbish.
“I look back on it and those people kind of shaped me into who I am and made me resilient, tough, mentally strong and it’s one of them ones, where are they?”
Although Matty has excelled in the sporting world, there were times when he did struggle with self-doubt.
“You see your friends in school and I guess at the time you want to have the life they’re living but at the same time I’m so glad I stuck at it because it’s given me a very exciting life.
“There were definitely times I wanted to quit, I’d be crying and telling my mum I wanted to quit and my parents were luckily the type of parents who weren’t pushy and my mum would say to me ‘if you want to quit, quit, if that’s what you want to do then that’s okay, we’ll find something else’.
“I think that’s one of the main things that helped me throughout my career…you see the child or athlete lose their love for the sport and you’ve got to build that on your own. Yeah, I definitely had challenging times.”
Matty Lee MBE is taking part in the #EatMoreDriedFruit campaign to raise awareness of the health benefits of dried fruit.
Just 30g of dried fruit is counted as one of your five a day and contributes to your fibre intake.
Tasty and versatile, dried fruit is a natural snack that’s full of vitamins and minerals; perfect for between meals, on top of a salads, cereals, yoghurts and in smoothies.
The Olympian said: “I need a nutritious snack to fuel me for my pool session and I do and have used packs of dried fruit and it’s a great way of getting that snack in.
“As a country we’re not getting our five a day and I understand why as it can be daunting and fruit can be quite expensive and it goes off easily.
“But with dried fruit it keeps for a lot longer and the ease of it is exactly why I like having it with training.”