Danielle Harold is set to take on TV's toughest entertainment challenge when I'm A Celebrity starts tonight.
The former Eastenders star has travelled Down Under as she aims to be crowned the next Queen of the Jungle. The soap star is renowned for her role as Lola Pearce Brown in Walford and exited the show in heartbreaking scenes broadcast this year when her character died from a brain tumour.
The 31-year-old had portrayed Lola for the past 15 years and she told our sister site, Mirror Online, that she is looking forward to people being able to see what she's really like on I'm A Celebrity. She said: "So it’s nice to do something that is me for a change.
"It will be nice to meet new people and hear new stories. I’m really excited. I think maybe people don’t know what to expect, or who I am really. I’m very bubbly and chatty. I love chats and listening to people’s stories and asking questions, I love a question. So I'm looking forward to getting in there and getting to know people."
Speaking on the show's official Instagram page, Danielle admitted she is nervous as she prepares to start her I'm A Celebrity journey. She said: "To be me, I'm a bit nervous.
"I'm a bit scared that I'm going to say something stupid because that's who I am. A lot of these jobs everything is glam, glam, glam. So to get literally stripped back, I can't wait."
Away from the screen, Danielle has previously opened up on her tough upbringing. and revealed she suffered heartache when someone she knew was stabbed to death nearby to her home.
She told the Sunday People in 2013: "I didn’t grow up in a great area – it was a tough place to live at times.
"A local boy who lived a few streets away from me was out one night and ran into the wrong crowd. He was stabbed and died. That was a massive eye-opener for me, I was only 16 but it made me realise that there are dangers out there.
"“It made me grow up a lot and I learnt how to be street wise which helped me so much with Lola. It was terrible when he died but it’s made me appreciate what I’ve got.”
By her own admission, Danielle said she struggled in school and revealed she gave up on her future when she was diagnosed with a painful chronic bladder infection aged 15.
She added: "When I was in year 10 I fell ill and I was in and out of hospital. At that point I just gave up. I didn’t try with my GCSEs and I only got one.
“After that I worked as a waitress but I didn’t really enjoy it. I lost all my confidence and I didn’t believe in myself.”
However, she credited her parents for keeping her on the right path and managed to turn her life around when she saw an advert for reality TV show Jamie's Dream School, which gave students with less than five GCSE's the opportunity to turn their lives around.
Danielle was a hit on the programme fronted by popular chef Jamie Oliver, and it enabled her to follow her acting ambitions and become the household name she is today.
She said: "Jamie Oliver was a complete life changer for me. I was so lucky to have got on that programme. It was so much fun and a completely new experience. It made me believe in myself and made me realise I could achieve whatever I wanted in life.
“You just need a little bit of encouragement sometimes and someone that believes in you."
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