Vamps guitarist James Brittain-McVey reveals I'm A Celebrity made his eating disorder worse

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Vamps guitarist James Brittain-McVey reveals ITV’s ‘I’m A Celebrity’ made his anorexia WORSE because he lost 13lbs in the jungle and left him admiring his ‘six-pack’

  • James Brittain-McVey lost 13lbs (6kg) while taking part in the show in 2018
  • Dramatic weight loss left his model wife Kirstie Brittain-McVey feeling ‘scared’ 
  • He felt he ‘looked good again’ with a six-pack for the first time in 10 years 


Vamps guitarist James Brittain-McVey today revealed his stint on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here worsened his anorexia.

The pop star, 27, told MPs he lost 13lbs (6kg) while taking part in the show in 2018, which made him feel he ‘looked good again’ with a six-pack.

But he said the dramatic weight loss, which left fans concerned about his thin frame, made his model wife Kirstie feeling ‘scared’ by how ‘ill’ he looked.

And Mr Brittain-Mcvey — who thought he had ‘solved mental health’ before going into the Jungle — admitted that it retriggered ‘unanswered demons in my head about my body’.

He has battled anorexia since he was a teenager and underwent liposuction at just 19, despite being at just six per cent body fat.

Appearing in front of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, he said: ‘That show was brilliant for an array of reasons but it made me focus on myself more than ever, physically.’

The guitarist-turned-body rights campaigner said he felt ‘extremely confident’ going into the show, appearing alongside contestants such as eventual ‘King of the Jungle’ Harry Redknapp and Noel Edmonds.

However, brand deals in the wake of his appearance tricked him into thinking he had to keep himself at an unhealthy weight afterwards.

Vamps guitarist James Brittain-McVey today revealed ITV's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here retriggered his eating disorders (pictured giving evidence at the Health and Social Care Select Committee)

Vamps guitarist James Brittain-McVey today revealed ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here retriggered his eating disorders (pictured giving evidence at the Health and Social Care Select Committee)

The pop star (pictured in the Jungle in 2018), 27, told MPs he lost 13lbs (6kg) while taking part in the show, which made him feel he 'looked good again' with a six-pack

He had previously had liposuction at the age of 19 despite being at just six per cent bodyfat, he revealed

The pop star (pictured right, on stage in 2016, and left, in the Jungle in 2018), 27, told MPs he lost 13lbs (6kg) while taking part in the show, which made him feel he ‘looked good again’ with a six-pack

The dramatic weight loss left his model wife Kirstie Brittain-McVey (pictured together after he left the Jungle) feeling 'scared' and led to his old demons resurfacing for the first time in 10 years, he said

The dramatic weight loss left his model wife Kirstie Brittain-McVey (pictured together after he left the Jungle) feeling ‘scared’ and led to his old demons resurfacing for the first time in 10 years, he said

Mr Brittain-McVey (pictured in 2014), 27, first started to have issues with his body image in his late teens, he said. The first thing he would think about in the morning is whether he was able to eat a certain food or if he would be able to go to the gym

Mr Brittain-McVey (pictured in 2014), 27, first started to have issues with his body image in his late teens, he said. The first thing he would think about in the morning is whether he was able to eat a certain food or if he would be able to go to the gym

WHAT IS ANOREXIA?

Anorexia is a serious mental illness where a person restricts their food intake, which often causes them to be severely underweight.

Many also exercise excessively.

Some sufferers may experience periods of bingeing, followed by purging. 

Sufferers often have a distorted view of themselves and think they are larger than they really are.

Untreated, patients can suffer loss of muscle and bone strength, as well as depression, low libido and menstruation ceasing in women.

In severe cases, patients can experience heart problems and organ damage.

Behavioural signs of anorexia include people saying they have already eaten or will do later, as well as counting calories, missing meals, hiding food and eating slowly.

As well as weight loss, sufferers may experience insomnia, constipation, bloating, feeling cold, hair loss, and swelling of the hands, face and feet.

Treatment focuses on therapy and self-help groups to encourage healthy eating and coping mechanisms.

Source: Beat Eating Disorders

He said: ‘I went into that show feeling extremely confident. 

‘I came out of that show 5 or 6 kg lighter and when my wife saw me, she was shocked, almost scared by how ill I looked.

‘However, I thought actually I kind of looked good again. 

‘I had a six-pack in a way that I hadn’t for 10 years, since the beginning of my issues with food and mental health.

‘And I think without realising, I still had unanswered demons in my head about my body.’ 

He said he felt the brand deals he received after the show — which were not named — came because of the fact he was looking leaner than ever.

And that caused him to continue to starve himself for years after finishing the show.

Mr Brittain-McVey first started to have issues with his body image in his late teens before he started playing for the Vamps, he said.

The first thing he would think about in the morning is whether he was able to eat a certain food or if he would be able to go to the gym. 

By the time he went into the jungle he thought he had ‘solved mental health, which later I’ve obviously realised isn’t how it works’.

He said: ‘The biggest misconception is that this is a stride for vanity, this was not what it was.

‘At the age of 19 or 20 the next step for me was to get liposuction, I had six per cent body fat but I could not get rid of breast tissue.

‘I ended up having surgery. For me, I was not being open about how I felt. I worry about the next generation.

‘I would love to see a world where companies represent the majority and not the small majority of unachievable body image.’

ITV has been approached for comment. 

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