I'm A Celeb producer says Tomic was ready to leave the jungle before filming even began.


Many viewers would have been shocked at seeing a famous face willingly depart the South African jungle just three days in to the latest season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.

But the reality show’s executive producer, Alex Mavroidakis, said Bernard Tomic had practically already quit the show before it even started airing.

Despite sticking around for two trials and three days of filming, Alex told Nova‘s Fitzy and Wippa that the 25-year-old tennis star almost didn’t even board the plane to South Africa.

“He told me that he composed a text message three days before he got on the plane,” Alex told the morning radio hosts, adding the message said Tomic had changed his mind and no longer wanted to do the show.

“So he was obviously just not in the right headspace at all.”

Bernard Tomic quits I'm A Celebrity AU
Bernard Tomic quit the show during last night's episode. Image via Channel 10.

Alex believes the show starting so closely to the end of this year's Australian Open - which the tennis star failed to qualify for - negatively impacted Tomic's state of mind.

"He said to me he'd beat [Marin] Čilić the last two times he'd played him who was in the final, and he'd beaten the South Korean guy last time he played him who was in the semi final," Alex said.

"I think that really affected him. I think that may have been a wake-up call like, 'I should be in the Australian Open semi final'. That was all playing out as he arrived in South Africa."

LISTEN: Mamamia Out Loud asks, should we be worried about Bernard Tomic? Post continues after audio.

The executive producer said that while he was "angry" at the star for giving up so quickly, he could also understand why the young sports star, with "freakish talent", wanted out.

"Half of me is angry with him because he's messed up a whole lot of plans that we had in place but half of me wishes him all the best," Alex told the show.

"He's just confused as to where he is in life and he's got this freakish talent and he just wants to get back and play tennis.

"Absolutely there is a duty of care, but we obviously pushed very hard to get him to stay because I honestly feel, and I still believe, that he would have flourished [on the show]."

bernard tomic producer alex i'm a celeb
Bernard Tomic chats to producer Alex during last night's show. Image via Channel 10.

Of attempting to persuade Tomic to stick it out and continue on with the show, Alex said "there was no talking him around".

"It just wasn't for him," he said.

Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia's pop culture podcast The Binge for all the best new TV shows and movies you should be watching this week. 

The producer also warned the Aussie public against judging the young star too quickly, especially after reading some of the reactions to him quitting the show.

ch 10 tweet bernard tomic I'm A Celeb
Fans have slammed a tweet from Channel 10 that was sent, and deleted, after Tomic's departure. Image via Twitter.

"There was a lot of sympathy going around [for Tomic]...I felt like the tide was slowly, slowly turning," he said.

"I'm not blind and I'm reading Twitter and the articles.... I can see what the public sentiment is going to be and what he's going to walk back into.

"I feel sorry for the bloke."

Despite Alex's fears, the Australian public has wished Tomic - clearly troubled and struggling with his mental health - all the best and urged him to see any help he may need.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.