Anne Hegerty was on benefits and on the brink of becoming homeless when she found fame on The Chase.
The I’m A Celebrity star was a freelance proof reader – but fell into difficulty when her autism meant she struggled to keep on top of her accounts.
"I just simply couldn’t keep it going and the result was I wasn’t paying my bills, but I was trying not to go on benefits on the grounds that I just thought that was sort of giving up. I wasn’t giving up," she told Stuff .
She was living in a council house but fell behind with rent payments when someone from the Housing Association paid her a visit.
"She was stepping over piles of unopened mail and realised we had a problem. She said ‘we will fix this, I will get someone to help you,’" she recalled.
(Image: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock)
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A social worker helped Anne sort out her bills and taught her to cope with everyday life.
She was also put on the Disability Living Allowance – a benefit to assist people with disabilities to live everyday lives.
Once her life was back on track, Anne learned about the "high level quizzing circuit" and the rest is history.
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After finding fame on The Chase, Anne still claimed the benefit – at least up until last year – as it’s not means-tested.
"It is difficult to go down the street without being recognised. It’s weird and interesting," she said of her fame.
"There are times when you’re not absolutely crazy about it.. but I hope I never take it for granted."
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