The showbiz world was rocked by the news that Jesy Nelson had decided to leave Little Mix after nine years due to the pressures of fame, among other things.

After coming into the spotlight through The Apprentice, Ryan-Mark Parsons has dealt with his share of online trolling too, so has some supportive words for Jesy.

Putting more positivity into focus, he is also looking at this week's The Full Monty on Ice, which is raising awareness of different cancers of the body.

And finally, it would be criminal not to mention the late, great Barbara Windsor, who died last week at the age of 83.

Jesy Nelson’s seismic departure

On Monday, Jesy Nelson announced to the world her departure from Little Mix via the very thing that has probably led to the shock exit.

The singer took to social media to say after nine years in the band it “took a toll on her mental health”, and that comes as no surprise.

Last month, she announced she would be taking “extended time off” and it’s been clear for a long time Jesy has struggled with the limelight.

In a revealing BBC Three documentary, Jesy opened up about her experience with trolling and the impact it’s had on her mental health since X Factor, even escalating to suicidal thoughts.

She was plunged into global stardom and not everyone is mentally prepared for that; vitriol from loser trolls behind screens, significant press attention, and constant curiosity from fans can be hard on anyone.

Later, Jesy thanked her fans for the “love and support over the past few days” following a flood of supportive messages across social media from Little Mix’s loyal fanbase.

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This comes after her lengthier statement released on Monday that detailed the extent of her pain being a part of the group.

I haven’t had the platform Jesy’s been on for the past nine years, however I’ve starred in a national television series with 7-8million weekly viewers, so I can empathise to some degree the insane and overbearing level of attention you can receive particularly online — Twitter being the worst of them all.

They go after everything: the way you talk, your face, your weight, your height, your skin colour, your background, your friends, who you follow, and pretty much every aspect of your existence is examined by people you’ve never met before.

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They think they know you when they don’t, and therefore believe (somehow) they have a right to criticise, slam, condemn, and degenerate you based on a TV edit.

So when I think about Jesy and her career, starting with millions of X Factor viewers, worldwide gigs, constant television appearances, and of course her own talent show, the magnifying glass intensifies to a whole new level.

When I attended the National Television Awards red carpet earlier this year, Jesy and her stylists happened to be in front of me, and all I can think of is the look of sheer anxiety, worry, and a lack of presence in a sea of adoring fans on each side of the carpet.

I didn’t see her smile once and I got the impression she needed to be there for her show, which of course won the award, but it didn’t look like she wanted to be at the event by choice.

Now it all makes sense.

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I’ve been critical of the band in the past, I didn’t like their talent show and I still stand by that.

I will always be forthright and won’t hold back, but there’s a difference between constructive honesty and malice, which the latter is something Jesy has been eternally subject to throughout her tenure in the spotlight, arguably more so than the rest of Little Mix.

I genuinely wish her the best and hope she takes time to discover what fulfils her.

It proves all the fame, money and global attention doesn’t equate to happiness and sometimes the most simple things in life can bring the greatest gratification.

The Real Full Monty with an icy twist

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We all love naked celebrities, especially Jake Quickenden, and I was over the moon to see the return of the Real Full Monty on ITV, raising awareness of cancers in the body through heartbreaking stories of the celebs who’ve had personal experiences with the illness.

For the first time in the series, the male and female participants stripped naked together on ice in front of a digital audience and millions of excited viewers at home.

  • Full Monty on Ice's Coleen Nolan fears she's 'next' as sisters battle cancer

I find it so brave that celebrities would strip down and bare everything to the public, it’s something I would never do if asked, but at least it’s for an amazing cause.

The show featured some familiar faces including Chris Hughes, Love Island ’s Shaughna Philips, Coleen Nolan, and Ashley Banjo, all with touching stories on how cancer has affected them in some way.

For example, Shaughna bravely spoke about her father’s battle and eventually losing him to the disease.

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Likewise, Jake opened up about his trauma dealing with both his brother and father passing away and the lasting impact it's had on his life.

It was a dynamic show, one that celebrated body confidence and courage; but also called attention to the seriousness of examining your body and how checking for symptoms could save your life.

Spungold TV’s fabulous team (producers of the show), went against all odds to put it together, nailing everything from casting to choreography in a 2020 TV highlight.

I’m sure through speaking and sharing the importance of the programme’s message, many lives will be saved.

Goodbye Babs: A Legend Across Generations

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The iconic Dame Barbara Windsor DBE died aged 83 last Thursday, leaving a legacy that has reverberated across the UK and with her supporters around the world.

The legendary actress, known for Carry On films and her memorable role as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, publicly fought Alzheimer’s disease since 2018 with her health deteriorating ever since.

She formed a part of my early teens when I was obsessed with EastEnders and remember her character distinctly.

I would always be so overjoyed to see her on-screen and to hear the infamous ‘Get out my pub’, which still brings so much nostalgia.

I fondly recall her cameo in Come Fly with Me too, starring alongside David Walliams in a hilarious stint in my favourite comedy television series.

The true wonder of Barbara Windsor was her impact on viewers across generations; from my grandmother watching her in classic Carry On films which brought Windsor’s prominence, to me in my sitting room after school catching up on the latest in Albert Square.

Tributes from Boris Johnson, David Cameron, and members of the Royal Family including Prince William, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were all paid to the late and great actress.

Her role in British television, film, and theatre will never be forgotten and has left an indelible mark on Britain as a national treasure.

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