TELLY babe Helen Flanagan revealed last night she considered killing herself in a car crash.
The I’m A Celebrity star was pushed to the point of no return by a secret depression she believes she has now overcome.
She recalled her fear of humiliating herself in the bushtucker trials — and of her final dark days in Coronation Street.
And, in her first interview since leaving the jungle, the 22-year-old actress also told The Sun:
WHY she almost walked out of the ITV reality show;
WHAT she thinks of the other contestants; and HOW she is now hoping to start a family with soccer star boyfriend Scott Sinclair and have four kids.
Explaining why she had decided to speak out, Helen said: “If someone reads this interview and thinks they may be suffering depression or any other mental illness, I hope it inspires them to go and seek help and not try and hide away.”
She continued: “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.
“One day I was on the Corrie set and a cast member — who was also a friend — joked, ‘Helen Flanagan — she rattles when she walks!’
“It really hurt me. I went home that night and cried my eyes out.
“I stopped taking my medication for a year and a half and didn’t tell anyone. It was the worst thing I could have done.”
Choking back tears Helen — who played the Street’s Rosie Webster — said: “I was up and down all the time and it just spiralled out of control.
“One day I was driving into the ITV studios and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I just crashed my car now and it was all over?’
“After that I knew I had to quit Corrie and get some help.
“I had some counselling and found that works for me. I am now more comfortable with it and know it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
“I’ve never discussed it publicly before because I’ve always been a bit embarrassed.
“I wouldn’t have done I’m A Celebrity a year ago, but I knew I was ready to do it now. I’ve got my anxiousness under control and my meds keep the bipolar and ADD under control as well.
“It was a real test for me though and I learned a lot about myself.”
Helen flunked several trials — and viewers immediately voted for her to do more.
She said: “I wondered whether I should walk.
“I thought, ‘Am I just humiliating myself here? Am I humiliating my boyfriend and family?’
“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.”
Speaking from her hotel in Australia, Helen told of her emotions as she was voted out of the jungle and was met by her parents Julia and Paul. She said: “It felt like I was leaving the last bit of ‘youthful Helen’ behind as I grew up so much in there.
“I was desperate to try and put on a brave face for the cameras. When I saw my mum that was it though, I just couldn’t hold it in any longer and when I saw my dad I bawled my eyes out — I’m a real daddy’s girl.”
Helen turned down planned TV interviews amid rumours of a meltdown.
She explained: “When you leave the jungle there’s a camera shoved in your face and it follows you continuously. I wanted a break. I just couldn’t do the interviews that day as I was so tired and emotional.
“Producers sat me down and showed me a video that said, ‘Helen Flanagan — the most hated celebrity ever!’
“I was gobsmacked. I know some people were saying I was playing a game not doing the tasks, but I was genuinely terrified. It’s a really serious thing so for people to say I was having a breakdown just because I was a bit emotional that day. It was cruel.”
Despite it all, she said: “I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute of my time in camp.”
She then shared her memories of her campmates.
ON CHARLIE: “She’s very intelligent and charismatic but we are very, very different people. I know we had the odd falling out but I’m certainly not holding any grudges.
“She’ll just be glad to get back to her little girl.”
ON ASHLEY: “She’d just roll out of bed and look amazing. She’s honest and straight down the line but has a really nice aura about her.”
ON COLIN: “One of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. His wife Marianne and my mum have become best friends.”
ON DAVID: “He was like my big brother. You look at him and he’s this big butch bloke — but then you get talking to him and he’s the sweetest guy ever.”
ON ERIC: “We had tiffs but he’s got a heart of gold and is genuine. He says what he thinks and I’m fine with that.”
ON HUGO: “He’s very sensitive — a true gentleman and knows how to behave around women.”
ON LIMAHL: “He takes everything so seriously. He’s actually quite shy. If he had been in the jungle from the start he might have come out of himself a bit on the show.”
ON NADINE: “She really inspired me — she’s so strong and feisty. I can’t believe I’m now friends with an MP!”
ON LINDA: “She and Nadine were my jungle mums! She’d set up a little code with her kids and every now and then scream ‘Cuckoo! Cuckoo!’ to let them know she was OK.”
ON ROSEMARY: “She’s a ball of energy and excitement and lifted the whole camp’s spirits. We’d have been screwed without her cooking skills too!”
Turning to the future, Helen told of her love for Manchester City winger Scott, 23. They started dating in 2009 when he was playing for Swansea.
She said: “Some people look at me and think. ‘Poor girl, dating a footballer’ — but Scott is different. We both have strong morals.
“If he goes out on a night out and a girl starts hassling him he actually texts me saying, ‘I’m being stalked!’ and I do the same if I go out and a guy tries to chat me up. Once we were going for a meal and had just got out of the car when this girl wearing a miniskirt and tiny top came running over saying, ‘It’s Scott Sinclair! Can I have a picture?’
“I was like, ‘No you can’t have a bloody picture!’, and literally dragged him across the road. Scott thought it was hilarious!
“I know in my heart that he’d never cheat on me, it’s just not in his make-up.
“We’re going to try for a baby next summer. I’d like a big family — maybe four children — and I’m even open to adoption. I think I’ll make a great mum.”