And it was the best meal of my life - Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner
BITCHY Jason Gardiner is the Dancing On Ice judge fans love to hate — so prepare to revel in his torment tonight as he is marooned alone on a tropical island.
The catty choreographer is left an exhausted weeping wreck after going hungry for days as he battles to fend for himself on a gruelling new Discovery Channel show.
Jason, 40, told TV Biz yesterday: "I was sick, I'd had diarrhoea, I was dehydrated. I got very emotional.
"I was really out of my depth and didn't think I'd get through it.
"The best meal of my life to date was when I ate for the first time in five days. I caught a fish myself and cooked it."
Jason — who has an obsessive compulsive disorder about cleanliness — spent six days in a shack with no shower on an island off Belize, Central America.
He filmed himself as he fished for food, purified water and dodged tropical bugs for survival show Alone In The Wild. He had only a basic needs pack and emergency rations.
But his first priority was to make a BROOM.
He said: "That was the thing I needed more than food and water. How ridiculous!
"I don't like having dirty hands, I'm very pedantic about my feet, I can't stand my face feeling grimy or sweaty — so it was a real test."
He added: "Five years ago, I couldn't have done this at all.
"I'd set the alarm for 4am and clean my house in London for five hours every day. Then I'd race back at 1pm and clean the kitchen and bathrooms. It was insanity.
"I could not have done this — I'd have died of fright."
Jason had two days of survival training before his endurance test.
But he said: "I was so overwhelmed by my environment that it went out the window.
Viewers will see him break down on the first morning when he can't remember how to use a pump to make sea water drinkable.
He weeps again when he can't find bait for fishing, then again when it rains. And when he's bored.
He said: "You start feeling like a caged animal where there's nothing to do and no one to talk to.
"Your mind plays tricks. One minute you're laughing at yourself, the next something triggers off an emotional response."
The tropical sounds and smells reminded Jason of childhood trauma in his native Australia.
He said: "It brought back memories of bullying. It was violent and relentless and I had to be under the watch of teachers."
His survival spirits were lifted on the fifth day when he fished at sunrise and saw a beautiful rainbow.
Jason said: "A rainbow to me is a symbol of luck. I needed a sign because I was close to lighting a flare and asking to get out."
He now has a new perspective on life. He said: "I turn my phone off from 8pm. I'm also going on a jungle survival trip and I'm applying for my private pilot's licence."
One thing he won't do is I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here.
Jason said: "They ask me every year. It's just a form of degradation and humiliation — that celebrity circus doesn't interest me.
"The Discovery programme was credible. I found it really uncomfortable viewing."
ALONE In The Wild is on Discovery Channel at 9pm tonight.
Lots of pics HERE