Anne Hegerty in the jungle  

Anne Hegerty joined the line-up in the jungle for ITV’s I’m A Celebrity last month and is already a firm favourite with the show’s fans – and doing a wonderful job increasing the public’s understanding of autism.

We’re massive fans of Anne’s and thrilled when she’s been able to work with our charity. Her strength and openness as she copes with all the challenges on I’m a Celebrity is giving people an invaluable and sympathetic insight into autism.

After being chosen for the Yellow Team, Anne faced daunting tasks and eventually the Yellow Team lost, ending up on basic rations. This was clearly hard for Anne , who told singer Fleur East: “I’m fine. I am just really, really close to saying I can’t do this.” 

But, the next day: “Just this morning, I’ve started thinking, I can sort of see my way ahead.”  She explained: “It is also an autistic thing when you… work out what to do.”

In the Bush Telegraph, Anne made clear that she was ready to explain her autism if anyone asked: “I didn’t raise the autism issue because it’s not something I ‘by the way I want you to know I have this interesting disability which you have to accommodate’. I try not to do that, but if someone else raises it then I am happy to talk about it.”

And, talking about her campmates: “I really appreciate how nice and sympathetic they have been to me and how supportive they are. It was nice they said I pick up social cues because I am never quite sure I entirely do.”

Anne rounded off the conversation, confessing her house may be a bit messy: “There are things, I mean if you saw my house you would know there was something very wrong. Absolutely, messy, an OCD person would not like my house. I just get overwhelmed with all the things there are to do.”

Catch up here on ITV Hub 

Join us following Anne’s jungle adventures on Twitter.  

Read our interview with Anne Hegerty.

We’re seeing lots of great coverage in the media about Anne and autism, and here’s the statement we shared with the media:

"We’ve loved seeing the outpouring of support for Anne Hegerty. We hope this will be the start of better representation of autistic women in the media and help everyone understand the diversity of autism.   

"There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK. But public understanding of autism is nowhere near as good as it should be – especially the often unique experiences of autistic women and girls.

"Far too many autistic people, like Anne, aren't diagnosed until well into adulthood. This means they've grown up without any understanding of who they are and access to the right support, which can make life incredibly difficult.

"By talking about her diagnosis so openly, Anne is bringing these important issues to everyone’s attention. This is fantastic and should really help create a society that works better for autistic people.

"Every autistic person is different. You can find out more about the autism spectrum and what it can mean to be autistic by visiting the National Autistic Society website."

Find out more about autism