Overnight, his life changed – two eight-time platinum albums, number one hits and red carpets became the norm for the father-of-three from rural New South Wales.
But back home on his family’s farm, times were tough.
On Monday night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, we learnt what became of the thousands of dollars in Noll’s Idol prize winnings.
Speaking privately to fellow campmate Fiona O’Loughlin about the anniversary of his father’s death, Noll shared the heartbreaking reason he blew his reality TV fortune.
After the death of his father in a farm accident in 2001, Noll and his family struggled financially to keep the farm their family had run for five generations afloat.
Watch Shannon Noll’s conversation with Fiona O’Loughlin in the video below.
“We tried to farm our way out of [debt] in the next two years. We failed because of the drought so we got enough rain to put the crop in and then it didn’t rain at all after that. That cost $40 or 50 grand at a time for fuel, seed, spray. So we went further into debt,” Noll told O’Loughlin.
“A few creditors were left over and they [had] seen me on the show and chased mum really hard for the shortfall. I wrote a cash cheque out for $209,000 for a tractor company.
“I thought I was doing the right thing – I was a farmhand, I’d never run a business before. So I paid a lot of these debts out. Consequently all the big money I made after the show, I paid bills with it.”
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This tragic story, which anyone who lives on the land or in rural Australia will know is unfortunately not uncommon, contradicts any thoughts Noll might have blown his winnings on ‘rock and roll’ type vices.
“I didn’t blow it on yachts and all that sort of stuff,” he said.
Noll’s family were eventually forced to sell the farm in 2009. Today would have been his father’s 73rd birthday.
I’m A Celebrity screens at 7:30pm Sundays – Thursdays on Channel Ten.