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Fatima went into the jungle to pay off her debts

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    Posted: 04 Dec 2011 at 12:41

I'm a Celebrity's Fatima went into the jungle to pay off her debts and help ill mother

  • Former javelin world champion earns £11,000 a year

By Mail On Sunday Reporter

Last updated at 10:46 AM on 4th December 2011

Fatima Whitbread has revealed that she took part in reality television show I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! to help pay her debts.

The former javelin world champion, who was voted off the ITV show in third place on Friday, admitted yesterday that since her sports promoter husband died four years ago she had found it hard to make ends meet.

Fatima, 50, said: ‘I’m struggling. Anything that I earn, I use to help my mum and my family.


Voted off: Fatima who left the show on Friday has admitted she finds it hard to make ends meet since her husband died

'My son is in private schooling and I’ve had a lot of debts to cover since my husband died.

'I make £11,000 a year and my son’s private school fees are £12,000. I get the child benefit every mum gets, but that’s it.


'As a single mum, I saw the show as a window of opportunity. It’s been very hard to get work over the last years.’

Fatima, who was BBC Sports Personality Of The Year in 1987, said she offered to help with preparations for the London Olympics but was turned down.


The former javelin world champion offered to help with preparation for the Olympics next year but was turned down

‘Even with 2012 on the horizon, I still find myself on the outside. I wouldn’t say it’s a matter of somebody preventing me from becoming involved. 

It’s just because there’s a vast host of people out there.’

In the final vote for the TV show last night, viewers were choosing between Dougie Poynter, from pop band McFly, and Mark Wright, from TV show The Only Way Is Essex, for the title King Of The Jungle.

Fatima needs funds to help mother Maggie after she was left crippled by a burglar who pushed her down stairs, forcing her into early retirement.


Fatima, pictured in the jungle, says she struggles financially

The incident occurred in 2002 when she was working as a teacher at Palmers Sixth Form College in Grays, Essex.

Maggie, 72, said: 'We were having an open evening at the college and it was the time between lessons finishing and waiting for parents to arrive.

'There were a number of teachers around but we were alone in our individual classrooms getting ready to meet parents.

'I had just been to the toilet when I was walking back to my classroom upstairs. Suddenly I was confronted by a man who had my handbag and a computer in his hands so I wrestled with him to grab them back from him.

'But as we struggled he pushed me down the stairs. I fell all the way down to the bottom... both my legs were badly injured, I had a fractured shoulder bone and two cracked vertebrae. I was in agony.


Challenged: Fatima taking a jungle test

'I had to have both my knee joints replaced so it was very traumatic.'

The police failed to catch the attacker as the quality of CCTV in the school was not good enough to recognise him.

Maggie suffered another setback following two mini-strokes, meaning she was not allowed to fly to Australia and greet Fatima on medical grounds.

Fatima spent the first 14 years of her life in care homes, before Maggie adopted her when she was a teenager.

She coached Fatima during her athletics career and was also Britain's national javelin coach, guiding Dave Ottley to Olympic silver in 1984.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2069687/Im-Celebritys-Fatima-went-jungle-pay-debts.html#ixzz1fZMqurBo
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