Telly fans were united in disappointment earlier this month when it was revealed Olivia Attwood had left the I’m A Celebrity jungle after 24 hours. The 2017 Love Islander had to quit the show after being rushed to A&E following an abnormal blood test. Despite receiving a “clean bill of health”, Olivia was told she could not return to the jungle.
Making her first public appearance since coming back to the UK at the ITV Palooza, Olivia looked incredible – but speaking to heat, it’s clear the star is still deeply disappointed. “I was crying – I never cry. I was literally sobbing,” she said. “I’m not sure if it’s worse now I’ve had that taste of it, because it was years in the making and I wanted to stay. If it was up to me, I’d still be in there.”
While we are upset we never got to watch Olivia interrogate Matt Hancock on primetime telly, her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance won’t be detrimental to her career, as we’re told that she is on track to be ITV’s new golden girl. “The channel bosses were really disappointed when Olivia had to drop out of I’m A Celeb,” an insider tells heat.
“They think she would have been a huge hit with viewers. But there was no way she could continue with question marks over her health.”
The source continues, “They remain super-keen to work with Olivia and have assured her that other projects are being lined up. Her ITVBe reality show will be back in 2023, and there’s already talk of doing another season the year after, because viewing figures have been strong.”
Olivia, 31, was thrust into the spotlight five years ago after finishing third on Love Island with Chris Hughes, who she split from six months later. Since her arrival on the reality circuit, she has continued to deliver the goods, first on TOWIE and then on her own reality show Olivia Meets Her Match – which offers a glimpse into her WAG lifestyle with Blackburn Rovers footballer fiancé Bradley Dack – and a documentary exploring the world of selling sex, Getting Filthy Rich.
Olivia and Bradley dated on and off before Love Island, and rekindled their romance in 2018. Brad popped the question the following year, but their wedding has been postponed until next year due to COVID and their work schedules. Documenting the couple’s lives is a selling point for ITV, as our source explains, “Their relationship is a bit of a soap opera and lends itself to a TV show. Bradley is fully supportive, too, he’s happy to be part of the publicity that comes with going out with Olivia.”
Now, Olivia is determined to make her mark in 2023 – and a possible stint on This Morning could be her launch pad to becoming the next Holly Willoughby. We’re told, “ITV think she could be a really good stand-in presenter – not as the main host, but as someone who covers fashion or TV news on the programme. She’d also be keen to do more quizzes and chat shows on ITV, as well as other channels. Watch this space.”