I’m A Celebrity fans slam Arlene Phillips for ‘degrading’ OCD comment

Arlene Phillips, the former judge on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, faced backlash within minutes of appearing on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

The choreographer, 78, jokingly said she had OCD because she liked things to be clean and tidy which led fans to call out Arlene for stigmatising mental health and branding OCD as a joke.

When travelling to meet her fellow campmates, Arlene told viewers at home what she wasn't looking forward to about being in Abergele's Gwrych Castle.

She said: "I cannot live with dirt. I am completely OCD about everything in my life being organised, clean, neat and tidy."

Although Arlene was trying to be funny, fans were disappointed by her ignorance of the "debilitating" condition.

One fan wrote: "#ImACeleb has just started and somebody has just said they are "a bit OCD" because they want things to be tidy. Can we stop this now? OCD is a debilitating condition.

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Another contributed: "Someone really needs to teach Arlene Phillips what OCD is. It's a serious condition which shouldn't be branded about as a joke. #ImACeleb."

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental health condition where you have recurring thoughts and repetitive behaviours that you cannot control.

Fans were not just calling out Arlene for her ignorance, but also ITV bosses. Many felt producers should have known better than to include an ableist comment regarding mental illness.

One viewers wrote: "Ah and we start #ImACeleb with Arlene Phillips misusing OCD… Shame on @ITV for including it in the clips. OCD is not an aversion to dirt it's so much more."

Another added: "Arlene already stigmatising a debilitating mental health condition by saying I’m so ocd I like things clean as if we needed more people to think OCD is just about being tidy #ImACeleb."

Liam O'Dell, a deaf and disabled journalist and campaigner also called out Arlene, saying: "The irony of my wishing that OCD was as nice as those who incorrectly say they have it make it out to be."

I'm A Celebrity airs nightly on ITV and ITV Hub at 9pm

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