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I'm a Celebrity star Danielle Harold's chronic illness that affected her teenage years

Former EastEnders actress Danielle Harold spent an extended time in hospital as a teenager

Danielle Harold in a jumpsuit smiling
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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The I'm a Celebrity camp is rife with illness this year, with Grace Dent removed from the jungle due to medical reasons and stars including Fred Sirieix and Sam Thompson taken ill, but one contestant who has remained healthy is Danielle Harold.

A shining light of positivity in the jungle, earning herself the nickname Tinkerbell, Danielle has been a pillar of strength for the other stars when they've been struggling, but the 31-year-old has suffered with her health woes in the past.

Danielle previously shared that she was in and out of school when she was 15 due to a chronic bladder infection.

Danielle Harold in the I'm a Celebrity jungle © James Gourley/ITV/Shutterstock
Danielle Harold is doing well in the I'm a Celebrity jungle

The award-winning actress explained: "When I was in year 10, I fell ill and I was in and out of hospital. At that point I just gave up. I didn’t try with my GCSEs and I only got one. After that I worked as a waitress but I didn't really enjoy it. I lost all my confidence and I didn't believe in myself."

Despite her ill health meaning Danielle struggled at school, her luck turned around in 2011, when she was given a place on the Jamie Oliver programme, Jamie’s Dream School.

The documentary series saw Jamie enrol teens into a special school where they were taught lessons by celebrities and experts in their field. Danielle excelled on the show and won scholarship money to further her career, which she spent on a drama teacher and acting agent.

Before long, Daniella was cast as Lola Pearce on EastEnders, a role which she held until this year when Lola died of cancer, a performance for which Danielle won The British Soap Award for Best Leading Performer and National Television Award for Outstanding Serial Drama Performance.

Danielle Harold in a sparkly dress on the red carpet © David Fisher/Shutterstock
Danielle Harold at the British Soap Awards 2023

Danielle has been an equally big hit in the jungle, with praise flooding in when she appears on our screens.

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"Danielle is just absolutely incredible," one fan wrote after the actress competed in a challenge alongside Josie Gibson. "Danielle this year is by far my favourite. She's so sweet and supports everyone and is doing so well, I really hope she wins this year," another added.

Danielle Harold © ITV/Shutterstock
Danielle Harold is impressing viewers

A third echoed the sentiment, writing: "She’s amazing, it’s impossible to say anything negative about Danielle, she’s a national sweetheart."

We can't wait to see Danielle continue to flourish in the jungle!

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