Most of us can probably agree that Nella Rose overreacted to Fred Sirieix’s comment on last night’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. 

Just a few days into the new series, the Catfish UK host decided that she can’t be friends with First Dates star Fred after a remark he made during a conversation the previous night. 

The scandal unfolded as the two were discussing Fred’s poor eyesight at the age of 51 – he then casually remarked that he could be her dad in the way people do as a joke. Usually, the comment would be a complete non-event but Nella’s father and mother have both died, so her emotions around the topic are understandably heightened. 

In a scene the following morning, Fred – who was completely unaware that Nella, 26, was even upset – tried to start a conversation with her causing it all to erupt as the YouTuber told the TV star that his comment hurt her. 

She said: ‘I don’t care how you said it to me, it’s disrespectful and I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to be around you. I only allow people to disrespect me once. You hurt my feelings. I was very upset… you keep trying to speak to me when I don’t want to speak to you.

‘I would rather stay away from you, I don’t want to eat your food, I don’t want to talk to you. We can just live, you live on that side, I live on this side.’ 

Nella Rose on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here
Nella Rose said she has no interest in being friends with Fred Sirieix after he said he could be her dad (Picture: ITV, Rex Features)

The whole thing was uncomfortable to watch in every sense; that Fred didn’t understand what he did wrong, the fact he didn’t really do anything wrong, that Nella overreacted to the situation but also that she thought he would intentionally be insensitive about the death of her parents. It was also uncomfortable for me because I knew that, as a Black woman on reality TV, the public reaction would paint Nella as the villain but to the extreme (which has happened). 

Fred Sirieix on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here
Fred apologised the next day but Nella wasn’t interested (Picture: Rex Features)

There’s also the fact that, as someone whose own dad has died, I could see where Nella was coming from. 

I was around 20 months old when my dad died from cancer and therefore didn’t grow up to have a relationship with him like Nella did with hers.

However, losing a parent at a young age still comes with its own type of grief as the deceased parent misses all the milestones throughout life and you wonder what could have been. 

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I wasn’t fortunate enough to have grown up with my dad but I still understand why Nella reacted the way she did. 

If you’ve lost a parent – or anyone for that matter – you have that feeling of ‘no one can replace them’ and in that moment, Nella may have felt like Fred was trying to do so by saying he could be her dad.

Nella Rose with her dad
Nella’s dad died in 2020, four years after her mother (Picture: @nellarosee, Instagram)

Since Nella was announced in the I’m A Celeb line-up, many of us in the Black community knew she’d have to be protected at all costs. Black women have not always been warmly received on reality television – it was just last week that we all witnessed the microaggressions towards Noky and Trish on Big Brother, after all. 

Nella is unapologetically loud and confident so she was always going to rub some viewers the wrong way but the vitriol towards her over the situation with Fred has been completely unwarranted.

She seems to have more criticism than former UKIP leader Nigel Farage who, quite frankly, shouldn’t be getting any air time let alone a £1.5million pay cheque

Nella Rose
Nella’s grief shouldn’t be judged (Picture: Getty Images)

As someone who has lost a parent, I wouldn’t have reacted like Nella did, but I get it. 

Nella maybe didn’t handle the situation in the best way and I don’t believe Fred meant any malice with his comment. 

However, who’s to say how the next person handles their grief? Also, if you put me in a jungle with strangers with little to no food and a dunny for a toilet, I’d probably snap over the slightest thing too. 

So yes, Nella did overreact but she deserves the benefit of the doubt; this will likely be a situation she’ll learn and grow from in the future. After all, aren’t we all allowed to make mistakes?

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