Frankie Bridge admits it was ‘difficult’ to protect her mental health on I’m A Celeb

Over the past month, we’ve watched Frankie Bridge battle Trials, open up about her mental health struggles and face her fears in the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! castle.

So when we sit down with the 32-year-old just days after she returned home to her husband Wayne, 41, and sons Parker, eight, and Carter, six, it’s like catching up with an old friend.

Brimming with excitement about her time in Wales with fellow campmates and new pals Simon Gregson, David Ginola and King of the Castle Danny Miller, the former Saturdays singer tells us she is looking forward to spending quality time with her family over the festive period.

“It will be nice and hectic, just how I like it,” she chuckles as she details her Christmas plans. “It’s my favourite time of year.”

Here, Loose Women panellist Frankie opens up on the highs and lows of her time in the castle, her emotional reunion with her sons and why she never makes New Year’s resolutions…

Hi Frankie! Congratulations on making the I’m A Celebrity final! Did you surprise yourself at how far you got?

Definitely! I went into the show with no expectations, and once the girls started getting eliminated, we were pretty much going one by one. When I made it into the final four, I thought I would be leaving instead of David so I was so shocked when I didn’t.

Wayne took part in the show in 2016, but you placed higher than him. Have you been rubbing it in?

100%. He’s taking it like a champ though! While he was watching it at home he was so proud. He’s happy for me to take this one. He wins at everything else!

Were you happy to see Danny win?

I knew from the minute Danny stepped into the castle that he was going to be the winner. So, I don’t want to say “I told you so,” but I told you so! I’m so pleased for him, he loves the show, so it’s great.

Have you managed to adjust back to normal life yet?

I haven’t really stopped since I came out of the castle. At home, I’m definitely back to being mum – the kids are constantly saying, “Can you get me this? Can you do that?”

You’re so open about your mental health. How did you protect yours in a highly pressurised environment like the castle?

It was really difficult. I was shocked at how high the highs were and how low the lows were and how quickly you switch from one to the other.

That was a struggle, but it was a struggle for everybody. So the way I managed it was by talking because a lot of us were feeling the same. Everyone was so kind in there and we really looked out for each other.

What was the hardest part?

Obviously not knowing how the kids and Wayne were was really difficult. We’re so used to being in constant contact with everybody that we know and love. But weirdly, the cold was what I found the hardest thing.

I didn’t realise just how cold it would be all day every day. And also not knowing the time was really weird. I didn’t realise it would be such an issue but we spent most of our day trying to guess what the time was.

What was the after-party like?

It was just so nice to all sit and chat without cameras and mics on. I’d got used to them while I was in there but that night we were like “Oh wow, it’s literally just us four”. There was some dancing, some chatting and there was a lot of eating.

Are you missing having all of your campmates around?

100%. It’s really strange not being around each other. And we’re the only ones that get what it was like. Every year on IAC, people’s experiences are different and to not have them here is really strange.

We’ve got a group WhatsApp group called The Sexy Badgers though, so hopefully that will be busy.

What was it like to reunite with Wayne and your sons Parker and Carter?

It was really emotional. I was just desperate to see them by the time I got home. The boys were lovely, they gave me a massive hug and so did Wayne. It was everything I had imagined the whole time I was in there.

The car ride from Wales must have felt like it went on forever…

It felt really long. I was opening messages from people but I couldn’t open many because I wasn’t ready. It took a few days before I could properly look at my phone. It was odd knowing that I was going home.

Are you looking forward to Christmas?

Christmas is my favourite time of year! When I was in the castle I just kept reminding myself that when I got out it was going to be Christmas. I’ve got all of my family coming round, it will be hectic, just how I like it.

Will you be making it even more special this year?

Last year it was just us four so it’s going to be nice to have all the family back together. My mum is doing the cooking at my house.

Do you have any traditions with Parker and Carter to keep the Christmas magic alive?

We do the same things my family did growing up. We all decorate the tree together, we wake up to Christmas songs in the morning. Everything else revolves around eating.

You joined the Loose Women panel this year, how are you finding it?

I love it. I really missed the girls while I was in the castle.

Do you make any New Year’s resolutions?

No, I just think you’re setting yourself up to let yourself down. I’d love to say I’m not going to eat chocolate but that’s never going to happen.

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