Popular former BBC Breakfast host and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! contestant Louise Minchin is renowned for her Team GB triathlon skills, but less well known is that she harbours a health condition – Raynaud’s syndrome.
Louise told The Sun: “I feet the cold really badly, I have this thing called Raynaud’s Syndrome, which means my hands and feet go numb very quickly, even in supermarkets. So cold is a big thing for me.”
Raynaud’s is a condition which affects the blood circulation and symptoms can include pain and numbness in the fingers and toes, not ideal for a couple of weeks in the north Wales countryside and some of the extreme trials on the ITV celebrity reality show.
While not usually a severe illness, Raynaud’s can be a sign of a more serious condition.
In 2019 she thanked Breakfast viewers on social media for advice when she was suffering from the syndrome.
Thanks to all you fellow Raynaud’s sufferers I am taking up some of your suggestions for remedies. It’s not even cold today and my hands have gone strange shades. pic.twitter.com/RF0lpLj40UFebruary 6, 2019
The condition is certain to make some tasks more difficult for Louise, 53, in Grywych Castle, although her recent history as an age-group triathlete representing Team GB at the world finals in Australia and the Netherlands will help her deal with the more physical challenges.
Her luxury item will also help with her Raynaud’s. She said: “I’m really delighted with my luxury item. I have brought with me a fluffy hot water bottle that actually belongs to my daughter.
“So not only is it going to be very helpful to keep me warm, but it’ll also remind me of home.”
Viewers are well used to waking up with Louise on BBC One most days, but on I’m a Celebrity she has no knowledge about when she’s being filmed and she has taken steps to avoid being inadvertently caught in a compromising pose – by practising taking showers in a full swimsuit at home!
She told the Mirror: “There’s definitely something different because obviously on Breakfast I know when the mics are not on and I know when the cameras are off.
“But yeah, I think at first I will try to remember there are cameras around me and microphones around me all the time. But I’m sure very soon I’m going to forget that.
“I’ve just got to trust that I can just be myself. I haven’t got a bikini – I won’t be wearing a bikini in the shower.
“That’s how I’ve managed to get around that one. I won’t be revealing more of myself than I mean to.”
Louise added that fans will see her in a whole new light on I’m a Celebrity: “I think viewers will be surprised, first of all, I’m going to look completely different to how they normally see me sitting on the sofa, looking mostly well put together with my hair nicely done, my makeup, etc. So I think that’s going to be a bit of a difference for them.”
Is Louise likely to become Queen fo the Castle in 2021? She is well-supported at around 7/1 with most bookmakers, who have installed Frankie Bridge as the early favourite at 4/1.
Watch I’m a Celebrity on ITV from Sunday, Nov 21.