Famously depressed: Helen Flanagan explains her pride in not eating a turkey’s anus
HELEN Flanagan says, “I WANTED TO KILL MYSELF” on the Sun’s front page. Flanagan is the former Coronation Street actress with the chest of a sex siren and the eyes that indicate inner workings amazed by toast. Dressed in a bikini and turning her arm to best display a Marilyn Monroe tattoo on her wrist, “the I’m A Celebrity star was pushed to the point of no return by a secret depression she believes she has now overcome”.
For anyone vapid celebrity wishing to carve out a career in reality TV and tabloids surviving depression is a must. The star’s back catalogues should also include: bullying (victim is better but perpetrator can be ok so long as she soon becomes a victim), insecurity (“I hated my breasts when I was 8” etc.), a sex tape, a footballer, the ability to talk about being bi-polar as if everyone knows what you’re talking about and a cancer scare.
Says the Sun:
She recalled her fear of humiliating herself in the bushtucker trials — and of her final dark days in Coronation Street.
Yeah. Being seen by the producers of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! as the kind of person who might eat a turkey’s anus on the magic box and then failing to rise to challenge brought Helen to the edge of the great unknown – what the sensitive Sun calls the “point of no return”. Only, she did return. She is no longer what the Daily Mail would call “nuts” and a “ticking time-bomb“. This revelation would have had more impact had Brian Conley not quit the jungle because he felt ill. He had not taken the anti-depression tablets he’d been using for 15 years.
Conley has suffered from mental illness. He seeks not to advertises the fact. He seeks to play it down. The Mirror reported:
Brian, who has previously suffered from depression, said: “”I want everyone to know that I’m back on top form, fighting fit and delighted to be back with my family. I’ve read all the messages sent to my Twitter account and have been genuinely touched by all the kind words and good wishes. I really want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I’ll be back soon making you all laugh.”
Good on him. Depression is not a a tick box a celebrity wish list. It’s bloody awful. Anyone who has lived with it and lived with a sufferer will understand. Now move on. Depression is not well enough understood. It is an illness. It is not something you can catch from sitting in a tin of rats.
Helen then ups the ante:
“I’ve suffered from anxiety since I was a little girl. I was about 15 when I developed an eating disorder. I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder quite a few years ago and used to take tablets to help keep that in check. I also take medication for bipolar.”
So. Why the bloody hell did you, as Armando Iannucci puts it, agree to be controlled by “manipulative psycho-sewers populated by emotional dwarves and made by scum-smeared zombies with the brian power of a blood orange and the imagination of a bin”?
Was it to find a cure, Helen?
“It was a real test for me though and I learned a lot about myself.”
It was therapy. Call the NHS. I’m A Celeb is good for you.
Helen flunked several trials — and viewers immediately voted for her to do more. She said: “I wondered whether I should walk.”
It’s you. YOU. It’s you the viewers who made fun of a mental patient and upset her. You scumbags. This is what you did to Helen with your eyes and your phone voting. As Mark Lawson wrote:
The possibility of meltdown is part of the recipe. Conley is, of course, deserving of sympathy and care, but the truth is that a version of I’m A Celebrity in which every contestant had been pre-tested to have the temperament and fortitude of an SAS veteran would be a series of much less interest to ITV and also – if we are honest – to viewers.
“I tried my best at every trial. On the Rat Race trial I just had a complete mental block. I froze and was petrified. I was pleased that I actually stood up for myself and said, ‘Enough is enough!’ This time last year my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t even go into Starbucks and order a latte because I’d worked myself up so much.”
Thankfully, though, Helen is now able to control her coffee ordering and did get her kit off and wash in a public shower on the telly. Mental illness, eh. It’s manifest is so many different ways…