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Paul Burrell says I'm A Celebrity 'saved his life' after check-up led to cancer diagnosis

Mirror 27/03/2023 Katherine Heslop

Former royal butler Paul Burrell has credited I'm A Celebrity for saving his life after medical checks for the show led to his cancer diagnosis.

Paul was told he had prostrate cancer after a medical check-up ahead of appearing on I'm A Celebrity All Stars flagged he had raised PSA levels.

Princess Diana's former butler returned to the jungle alongside former contestants such as Carol Vorderman, Phil Tufnell and Jordan Banjo, for the all-stars edition, set to air next month.

The line-up for I’m A Celebrity… South Africa had been kept heavily under wraps but was announced on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

Paul Burrell (middle right) will appear in I’m A Celebrity… South Africa © ITV Paul Burrell (middle right) will appear in I’m A Celebrity… South Africa

Now Paul, who has been keeping fans up to date with his cancer treatment, has revealed his health diagnosis was down to the show.

Speaking on Lorraine today, Paul said: “That show, I’m A Celebrity, literally saved my life.

“Because I went for the medical [and] they found a raised PSA level. I went to my GP and I said to him, ‘Am I still able to do the show?’ And he said, ‘Look, this can wait until you get back [from filming] and when you get back, we’ll continue with the investigations’.

Paul Burrell appeared on Lorraine this morning © ITV Paul Burrell appeared on Lorraine this morning

“So when I got back, then I had an MRI scan and then I had a biopsy and then they told me that I had cancer, and then I had to go on the path of treatment.”

Paul later shared, “I’m so grateful to ITV for picking me to do the jungle because, without that, I would still be sat here today not knowing I had cancer growing inside of me. So my journey is a happy one.

In a pre-recorded video, viewers watched as Paul began his cancer treatment.

Speaking from The Christie Hospital in Manchester, he said: “I'm really nervous about this. I know it's like going to the dentist, so it’ll be over very soon, but it's a life-changing thing that's happening to me this morning.”

Paul is returning to the jungle for I'm A Celeb © ITV/REX/Shutterstock Paul is returning to the jungle for I'm A Celeb Paul Burrell was butler to Princess Diana © UK Press via Getty Images Paul Burrell was butler to Princess Diana

After the two-hour procedure, in which he had radium injected into his prostate to shrink his tumour, Paul, 64, admitted, “I don't know what I was worried about because I didn't feel a thing.”

Viewers then saw Paul having his first radiotherapy treatment at the hospital, using a state-of-the-art cone beam CT scanner that checks the pelvis and then delivers the radiotherapy.

He said afterwards, “I’ve just had my treatment, one of 15, and I didn't feel a thing. It was just like lying on a sunbed.”

Speaking to Lorraine live in the studio, Paul said: “It's a rollercoaster of emotions and you just don’t know what’s going to happen to you next. And combining that with hormone therapy, which doesn’t help, I get hot sweats and I’m very emotional and very tired, so it's a tough experience to go through but I'm getting through it.”

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