I’m A Celebrity hosts Ant and Dec addressed Richard Madeley's early exit on the ITV show during Thursday's episode.
It was announced earlier in the day that the Good Morning Britain presenter, 65, had been forced to pull out of the show after he was taken to hospital in the morning.
Richard had fallen ill while staying on-set in Gwrych Castle at the ITV show’s North Wales location and due to breaking the Covid bubble with his visit to hospital, he had to leave the camp.
Addressing his exit on Thursday's show, Ant and Dec admitted they were "gutted" over his early exit as they revealed he would be returning on Friday for an interview over his departure.
Ant said: "You've probably heard the sad news already… but Richard Madeley has had to leave the castle.'
To which Dec continued: "Yes, Richard was taken ill in the early hours of this morning. He's absolutely fine but sadly down to Covid restrictions, he's now unable to return to the camp.'
Ant added: "He's gutted, we're gutted, we will have the full story, including an interview with the man himself, on tomorrow night's show."
With Dec commenting: "Yeah, we're looking forward to that!"
Viewers were also left "gutted" over Richard's sudden and early departure as they took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
One person said: "Can’t believe Richard’s had to pull out, I’m a bit gutted because he was great! Such a shame. Hope he gets better soon. #ImACeleb."
A different account put: "Gutted Richard’s gone what a fella, convinced he’d have won had he stayed #imaceleb."
Another follower commented: "@richardm56 Gutted you have left! I was really enjoying watching you and thought you could have gone all the way! #ImACeleb #richardmadeley."
While a different fan added: "Not going to lie, I’m gutted Richards gone #ImACeleb."
Sharing an official statement to his Instagram page earlier on Thursday, Richard explained that he was “gutted” but knows his early departure is for the best.
“Hello all!” the star began. “Richard here – firstly just to say that I’m absolutely FINE. I started to feel briefly unwell in the small hours of the morning and was taken to hospital as a precaution.
“By leaving the camp, I had consequently broken the Covid ‘bubble’ and as such I’ve had to leave the castle and all the wonderful celebs that remain in the camp,” Richard continued. “Obviously I’m gutted to be leaving so soon but the safety of all the campmates is the number one priority.
“I’m incredibly excited to watch their journey continue…even more so at the prospect of being somewhere a little warmer than Gwrych Castle,” the star went on, going on to thank all the friends and fans who have supported him on his journey on the show.
“Our strict covid protocols means Richard has sadly had to leave the show as he is no longer in the bubble the celebrities form when entering the castle,” a representative for the show stated. "He has been a truly brilliant camp mate and we thank him for being part of this series."
They also revealed that fans shouldn’t expect to see the campmate replaced by any other celebrities.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues to air at 9pm on ITV and ITV Hub every night.
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