Victoria Derbyshire has praised the NHS for “saving her life” after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.
The BBC presenter documented her illness in a video diary as she went through chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy.
The 52-year-old opened up to fellow I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! contestant Jessica Plummer, 28, as they pumped water for the camp on Saturday night’s weekly recap episode.
After Derbyshire told the soap star she had undergone a mastectomy, Plummer asked if she had health insurance at the time.
“No, the NHS. Amazing. NHS are superb. They saved my life, you know,” she replied.
Derbyshire said she and her husband Mark, who she married shortly after her treatment ended, had been speechless after the diagnosis.
She said: “We could barely speak. We could barely speak to each other. We are talkers, we are open, and we just had no words because, honestly, all I was thinking was ‘I’m going to die. Seriously, I’m going to die’.
“And then I thought ‘I’m not going to see my boys grow up, I’m not going to grow old with Mark’. I just thought ‘my luck’s run out’.”
She also recalled noticing a change in her body which prompted her to visit a doctor.
“I was going to bed on a Sunday night and getting undressed in the bathroom, I think I’d had a bath, and I just looked in the mirror and my right breast was about two inches lower than my left,” she said.
Derbyshire thanked Plummer for asking her questions in a sensitive manner.
Later the actress said: “Victoria is an incredible, strong woman. I feel like I’ve learned so much just from that conversation. So much that I’m going to make sure I tell my daughter.”
It comes after Paralympic gold medallist Hollie Arnold became the first star to be eliminated from the ITV show on Friday night.
The 26-year-old received the fewest public votes and left Gwrych Castle after 14 days.
The episode also saw Giovanna Fletcher, 35, reveal that her husband Tom, 35, penned the McFly hit All About You for her.
The TV presenter, who has three sons – Buzz, Buddy and Max – with the musician, recalled how the 2005 song was a Valentine’s gift to her.
She said: “It was coming up to Valentine’s Day, Tom hadn’t got me a Valentine’s present, so he got into the studio and just literally wrote it super quickly.
“He said it’s just one of those songs that just came out and recorded a version that’s just him, really beautiful, and then gave me the disc for Valentine’s Day.”
Explaining the meaning behind the lyrics, she added: “Our first slow dance, I remember being around his house when we were 15, his parents had gone to bed, we were downstairs in his kitchen and we were just having a cuddle.
“I said, ‘We’ve never had a slow dance before’, so we danced on his kitchen tiles and that’s the lyric – ‘Dancing on the kitchen tiles, it’s all about you’. That’s where it comes from.”
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues on ITV.