I fear for Harry’s health...


Irish Daily Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY MARTIN FRICKER [email protected]­ror.co.uk @mar­t­in­fricker

ERIC Bris­tow’s part­ner be­lieves the late darts leg­end’s ap­pear­ance on I’m A Celebrity had a “mas­sive ef­fect” on his health.

Bex Gadd says she now fears for 71-year-old Harry Red­knapp, who is book­ies’ fave to be King of the Jun­gle.

Bex, who lost Eric to a heart at­tack in April, aged 60, be­lieves he was “never the same again” af­ter spend­ing 22 days in the jun­gle in 2012.

At the time Eric, known as The Crafty Cock­ney, spoke at length about how much he en­joyed his stint Down Un­der, say­ing: “I en­joyed my time there – you cer­tainly find out a lot about your­self.”

But Bex claims: “It changed him for ever. The Eric that went in the jun­gle was not the same Eric that came out, un­for­tu­nately. It did make him poorly and a much frailer per­son. Mus­cles that he did have, never came back.

“The ef­fects of be­ing in the jun­gle took a mas­sive toll on

Eric’s health. I don’t think he ever fully re­cov­ered from it. I do worry about Harry given he is in his 70s.”

Bex re­vealed Eric, who would reg­u­larly down 15 pints of Guin­ness in a ses­sion and “never played darts sober”, lost four stone be­tween sign­ing up for the se­ries and com­ing out in 4th place.

“He lost two stone be­fore he went in be­cause he gave up al­co­hol to prove to the pro­duc­ers that he was not al­co­hold­e­pen­dent,” she said.

“Then he lost an­other two stone in the jun­gle. Four stone in lit­er­ally a cou­ple a months is far too much. The to­tal detox of go­ing

into I’m A Celebrity and then com­ing out didn’t do his body any good at all. Eric was re­ally poorly when he came out.”

De­spite re­port­edly mak­ing him frailer, Bex says his jun­gle stint played no part in his tragic death.

Eric col­lapsed min­utes af­ter host­ing a VIP meet-and-greet event at the Echo Arena in Liver­pool, six years af­ter his jun­gle ap­pear­ance. “It was lit­er­ally a heart at­tack,” said Bex, 40.

“It wasn’t any­thing to do with what hap­pened in Aus­tralia. There was a small clot in Eric’s heart valve and he was dead be­fore he hit the floor.”

But she said his health did suf­fer in the wake of the jun­gle stint, adding: “He felt poorly at dart player James Wade’s wed­ding and we took him off to hos­pi­tal.

“That was not long af­ter the jun­gle. Ob­vi­ously we can’t say for cer­tain that it was be­cause of the jun­gle but I don’t think it’s a co­in­ci­dence.”

Bex said it “took ages for Eric to be able to eat prop­erly again”.

She added: “What you see them eat in the jun­gle is lit­er­ally all they get, so the stom­ach shrinks. He was just drink­ing boiled wa­ter, there was no caf­feine or sugar. It’s a big worry for the ones who are not fit, young and healthy.

“They lose so much weight so fast. Eric did not re­gret go­ing in. He loved ev­ery minute and made some amaz­ing friends.”

Bex re­vealed dis­cus­sions are un­der way for a film or mini-se­ries on Eric’s life story.

She said: “There is quite a bit of in­ter­est, so hope­fully some­thing comes out of it. It might be like the Bar­bara Wind­sor and Cilla Black ones that were on re­cently.

“I can’t even be­gin to imag­ine who would play Eric. It would have to be some­one with a very strong char­ac­ter.”

Last night a TV source said: “Camp­mates’ health is a pri­or­ity. We would ob­vi­ously keep in touch and mon­i­tor any­body that had an is­sues in the jun­gle.”

The source added: “Yes, Harry has lost a bit of weight but he is do­ing fine as mil­lions of view­ers can see.”

An­other in­sider also ques­tioned the com­par­i­son be­tween Eric and Harry.

“Harry and Eric’s life­style were very dif­fer­ent,” they said.

CUD­DLE Fleur and her sis­ter Keisha TEARS John sur­prised by hubby Scott GONE TEN­DER James with girl­friend Kirstie EMO­TIONAL Emily meets mum Kate IDEAL TONIC Harry meets San­dra in the jun­gle WEIGHT LOSS Eric in camp in 2012 WOR­RIES Bex is con­cerned for well­be­ing of Red­knapp

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