Russell Watson says Vernon Kay has been quiet in camp this week because he is exhausted from a lack of food.
Singer Russell, who was evicted on Tuesday night, lost 9kg (20 pounds) in camp in just two weeks whilst Vernon has been in there even longer and is visibly skinnier than when the show launched.
Russell, 54, said: “It affects the big lads the most. Vernon and I, because we are big lads, we felt the lack of calories. I was pretty tired the last few days and desperate for food. Vernon was telling me before the show he was eating about 5000 calories a day and he has gone down to 6-700 calories.
“One of the things that gets you is the tiredness and the cold.
“If your belly is empty and you are cold, it feels even colder.
“I couldn’t believe it. I got weighed and I have lost 20 pounds. I put my pants on this morning and they literally fell down to the floor.”
Vernon’s wife Tess Daly has also expressed concern for his weight loss.
Speaking earlier this week she said: “I worry about him being cold, about him not eating.”
In the past other campmates like Michael Buerk sparked concern for huge weight loss when he shed 17 pounds and was seen looking very skinny in the Aussie camp in 2014.
Vernon insisted earlier this week that the weight loss would mean he could have a bumper Christmas.
A show source said: “Some celebrities do lose a lot of weight in camp but they have enough food to survive in camp. They have also been getting treats like the pies and pints in the pub. Vernon is getting all the nutrients he needs, it is like a detox for the body when they are on rice and beans.”
Speaking after his eviction Russell also revealed he almost pulled out of his trial Rancid Rotisserie because it gave him a flashback to his hospital treatment for a tumour.
He said: “I was petrified because I am claustrophobic and it reminded me of the MRI scanner that I have been in. When they were strapping me in I was thinking ‘I actually don’t want to do this’ but I thought we are in here now so I have to go for it.”