Love Island star Demi Jones shared how appearing on ITV’s Strictly The Real Full Monty has been one of the best experiences of her entire life.
Chatting to hosts Bobby Norris and Stephen Leng on Access All Areas, the 23-year-old revealed how tough this year has been, having been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in June this year: “I’ve had to have multiple surgeries, I’ve had some radiation treatment and everything.”
“It has been difficult, especially with my mental health. Being in the public eye in general is difficult and straining at times, let alone dealing with my illness and stuff in private as well.”
The stunning red head is bearing all in this year’s Strictly The Full Monty, which airs next week on ITV. During the interview, she explained just how moving being part of the show has been: “To be around people that have gone through it and have similar experiences, for me it was like a form of counselling.”
She added: “I feel like I’ve got more comfort and understanding for what I’ve gone through since filming The Full Monty than I have from friends and family because sometimes it’s like, ‘how do you talk about it to people?’”
Starring alongside the reality star on the ITV show is fellow Love Island alum Teddy Soares, Blue singer Duncan James and EastEnders actress Laila Morse. Talking about her fellow cast members, Demi said: “We literally bonded so well because all of our stories brought us together. I think the common denominator in most of our stories was that we weren’t referred quickly enough, or our cancer wasn’t spotted quickly enough, so we all bonded in that sense.”
Demi also revealed how strange it felt to be stripping off with people she has admired for years: “It was so weird we had the first weekend which was this bootcamp where we all met each other and bearing in mind all these people I’ve grown up with. So to me, I was like ‘oh my god, it’s Mo from EastEnders!’ I was so excited.”
The History graduate also opened up about how nerve wracking it was taking all her clothes off on national television: “People say to me, ‘You’ve been in a bikini on TV, you’ll be fine’. But I’m still subconscious, I’m still a young girl. You’ve got all this pressure from Instagram and social media on what you’re supposed to look like, so for me to still get my bits out and all my wobbly bits, it’s still scary”.
Explaining more about her diagnosis, the influencer revealed how the past year has changed her: “I feel like I’m a different woman now, I feel like I’ve done so much growing up this year and I’ve had to mature really quickly.”
Demi went on to reveal that she’s hoping to hear back about the success of her treatment later this week: “I’m literally just waiting on my results actually to find out if I’m cancer free and if it’s gone, so fingers crossed I’m on the other side of it now.”
Despite trying to remain positive throughout the process, Demi shared how waiting for the results is the worst part. “I keep describing it as like a dark cloud. So as much as I’m getting on with my life and am excited for Christmas, it still lingers over you thinking like ‘what if’.”
“I really hope that I hear before the end of the year, I just wanna know. I think the waiting is the hardest part.”
Strictly The Real Full Monty will air on ITV at 9pm on 13th & 14th December.
Listen to the full episode of Access All Areas, also featuring Lee Mead, Charlotte Dickinson and Jordan Gayle here.