Danny Baker spoke candidly about his cancer battle with his new campmates after he made his arrival in the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! jungle.
The broadcaster’s battle with the disease – which affected his head and neck – was well publicised, but he said that he “never milked it” and that being on the programme is “proof you can actually come through it” in Friday night’s episode.
Danny, 59, also reduced Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt to tears as he spoke about his previous health issues and told his campmates that he wears a scarf around his neck to keep the sun off.
Danny and Homes Under The Hammer presenter Martin Roberts were late arrivals in the camp, joining the 10 other celebrities who kicked off the reality show at the weekend.
The newcomer said: “I’ve got a slight advantage because I was ill five years ago and one of the legacies of it is my mouth is always dry, I’ve got very few taste buds, very few saliva glands and my appetite is flat-lined.
“One of the things here because it’s in your head and you get radiotherapy, it blitzes your mouth and you can’t… I didn’t talk for eight months.”
Actor Larry Lamb told Danny that he had read about his account of his illness, to which Danny replied: “I never milked it. It’s bad enough living it, you don’t want to read it.”
Olympian Sam Quek praised Danny for having “inspired others as well”.
Danny said: “The fact that I’m here being a nuisance is to say to people, ‘Well, all right, you can get through that’.
“People come up to me and said, ‘Are you the poster boy for the Big C?’ A lot of people are interested in that sort of thing and they think because everyone is terrified by it, and all I can do is hopefully be some kind of living, breathing, bumptious proof you can actually come through it.”
Scarlett – who admitted to being a huge fan of Baker’s – became visibly emotional as he detailed his cancer diagnosis.
He said: “That was six years ago. 2010. Big old lump come up in the neck and like most blokes I thought, ‘Oh that’s nothing’.
“It’s only because… people saying, ‘What’s that on your neck?’
“I had another one about four years ago, that was just a thyroid. And they said, ‘You’ve got to take three days off work’. And I said, ‘When am I going to take three days off work?’”
Danny said the other side of his neck started “coming up” and that he “let it go for about eight months” before undergoing tests and learning he had cancer.
“People may have thought I was going to come in here in an iron lung or something and seeing this robust bloke coming in, you know, it’s a pretty good story and unfortunately these days it’s one of the few things people know about me,” he later added.
Scarlett said that she became so emotional because her father had cancer, and also because she finds Danny “inspirational”.
The episode saw Danny and Martin pitted against each other in their first Bushtucker Trial.
The two TV stars had to choose a partner to do the challenge with them, with Danny picking mathematician Carol Vorderman and Martin opting for Sam.
The foursome had to undertake a Hungry Games challenge called Rank Tanks in order to win team-mates.
After battling each other in another challenge involving critters, Martin’s team – the blue team – became himself with Sam, comedian Joel Dommett, Scarlett, Larry and model Lisa Snowdon.
Danny and Carol were joined in their team – the yellow team – by retired footballer Wayne Bridge, ex-Strictly pro dancer Ola Jordan, Emmerdale actor Adam Thomas and dancer Jordan Banjo.
Another challenge for both teams saw the yellow team victorious, meaning they won the final prize of a luxurious dinner of emu rump and other tasty and nutritious treats.
The blue team were banished to eat a paltry meal of rice and beans as tensions between the two groups began to threaten the uncharacteristically harmonious state of the camp so far.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues on Saturday at 9.25pm on ITV.