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Adele Roberts reveals she experienced bowel cancer symptoms on I’m a Celebrity



Adele Roberts has revealed that she was experiencing early symptoms of bowel cancer while competing on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!.

The radio presenter was diagnosed with stage two bowel cancer in October 2021, and underwent chemotherapy as part of her treatment.

She was declared cancer-free the following year, and now wears a stoma bag and speaks regularly about the importance of early bowel cancer detection.

In her new memoir, Personal Best: From Rock Bottom to the Top of the World, Roberts, 45, opened up about how she first experienced symptoms of the disease while on I’m a Celebrity in 2019 – two years before her diagnosis.

The long-running celebrity survival show is infamous for putting its contestants through gruelling tasks, with cast members often experiencing hunger and fatigue after failing to win food portions.

Roberts had been experiencing fatigue while in the jungle, with campmates jokingly telling her: “You look dead when you’re asleep.”

However, it became clearer that Roberts was suffering more than her fellow celebrities.

As seen by The Mirror, she writes: “I also used to find it very hard to stay awake once the sun had gone down. It was like my body would lose power with the light.”

On one occasion, Roberts found herself feeling so cold and tired that she was unable to stay up for the evening meal. Instead, she chose to layer up with every single piece of clothing she had, including her coat and boots, before she climbed into her sleeping bag and “just shut down”.

At this point, Roberts recalls the celebrities becoming concerned for her, as did her partner Kate Holderness, who was watching at home in the UK.

Roberts writes: “My campmates were so worried about me. Kate, who was watching at home, knew there was something wrong too. I would never go to bed without having my tea. She rang one of the producers to say she was worried. They said I was just a bit cold and tried to put her mind at rest.”

She continues by noting that when the show’s medic, Dr Bob, noticed she wasn’t eating, he was concerned and secretly gave her nutrition shakes. Despite this, she kept losing weight and experiencing stomach pains when she ate.

In September 2021, a hospital scan revealed that Roberts had a tumour that had been growing for at least 10 years.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was ill with bowel cancer,” she says of her time on I’m a Celebrity.

“I originally thought that the first signs of my cancer started to show a couple of years after I’m a Celeb… I was wrong. It was there for us all to see in the camp, but we didn’t know – not even Dr Bob, who works on the show to keep everyone safe.”

She then reminds readers of signs that could indicate bowel cancer.

“So just to reiterate: loss of appetite, a sore, bloated tummy, weight loss and fatigue. These are the classic symptoms of bowel cancer, and they were playing out on TV for all to see,” Roberts writes.

I’m also even more grateful now that I was chucked off first. That might have saved my life too. I was dying and I didn’t know it.”

Earlier this year, Roberts reached the final of Dancing on Ice, and dedicated performances to her late mother.

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