There has been a lot of speculation about Anne Hegerty’s love life since appearing on the current series of I’m A Celebrity in the United Kingdom, and the 60-year-old has finally put the rumours to bed.
On Wednesday night’s episode, The Chase star admitted her battle with Asperger’s syndrome has impacted her relationship status.
In a frank conversation with Scottish-American actor John Barrowman, the TV star, who is single, said: “When I was working out that I was autistic it clarified a lot of things for me and one of those things was ‘that’s why I never seem to be able to make it work, that’s why I always feel claustrophobic in a relationship’.
“That’s why I kind of think that’s probably not intended for me.”
Anne, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2003 at the age of 45, has had a rocky start during her time on the hit reality show, breaking down in tears on her first night in the Australian jungle. She also spoke in detail about her health condition earlier this week with former EastEnders actress Rita Simons.
“I didn’t raise the autism issue. It’s not like: ‘I want you to know I have this interesting disability that you have to accommodate’.”
“If someone else raises it then I make it quite clear that I’m happy to talk about it,” she explained.
Viewers were quick to praise Anne for her honesty and bravery, with one person on Twitter writing: “My heart is going out to Anne at the moment. She is going to do so much for raising awareness of autism. Massive respect to her!”
Another added: “Anne educating people on autism is amazing.”
#ImACeleb Anne educating people on autism is amazing, this being shown on national TV which is so amazing for awareness and understanding of a condition that people know so little about 👏🏻👏🏻
— Laura (@_sadz95) November 19, 2018
In addition to adjusting to life in camp, Anne has also competed in her first Bushtucker Trial, where contestants on the show compete in gruesome challenges in an attempt to win stars for more food. Anne was covered in thick green slime as she battled to win two stars during Tuesday’s challenge.
Before entering the show, Anne had previously been open about her fears of going on a reality show due to her autism diagnosis – and admitted that she values her space, in an exclusive chat with Starts at 60.
“I can’t be around people too much,” she said. “So that could be a problem.”
She also appeared in a promo video for the show ahead of its launch and explained: “I feel I seem to have spent most of my life avoiding anything that might possibly resemble camping outdoors… Why am I even doing this?”
The TV star admitted that she thought she would annoy people.
“I’m sure I will annoy people immensely,” she added. “I think I’m capable of being deeply annoying… I’m kind of hoping this is going to be a bit of a learning curve.”