I'M A Celebrity's Owen Warner revealed he was overdrawn and living off 40p tinned meals before landing his role on Hollyoaks.
The hunky actor, 23, was living hard and fast while studying film production at uni, favouring boozy nights out over knuckling down on his studies.
His wild ways took their toll on his body with his family growing concerned about his grey complexion and dark circles under his eyes. In his own words, he "looked ruined".
After taking a punt and auditioning for the role of Romeo Nightingale, Owen was stunned to learn he'd got the part.
And it couldn't have come at a better time because he was financially on his backside.
He told the Mirror: "I had to let my uni know. I had like one week left. I think I had about £200 in my account and £1,500 overdraft and I've literally just said to my mates, 'We're having a mad week.' Every single day I was just buying drinks for everyone. I dipped deep into my overdraft.
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"I was at uni. It sounds dirty now but I used to have these tins, you put them in the microwave, like chicken. It cost like 40p. I'd have Aldi boil in a bag rice, boil some of that in a bag and whack a tin in the microwave. Maybe I put in a bowl first?"
Owen's fortunes soon changed and he quickly became a soap heartthrob.
And now he's favourite to win I'm A Celeb, a feat that would crown a meteoric rise from rags to riches in just a few short years.
Last night I'm A Celebrity fans were left devastated for Owen after he missed out on the opportunity for chocolate brownies.
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He has been struggling more than most with their meagre rations and yesterday he was sent to do the Deals on Wheels challenge.
Joined by Chris Moyles, the pair managed to make it to Kiosk Keith after a game of charades involving the rest of the camp.
But when they arrived to his bike, they were more desperate than ever to make it after discovering the prize was brownies and England's Fifa World Cup results.
All they needed was for camp to correctly guess the answer to that all important final question.
The trivia tidbit was "Which had the largest UK viewing figure – Men’s Euro final 2020, Women’s Euro final 2022 or the Queen’s Funeral?"
While everyone assumed it was the Queen's Funeral, it turned out they were wrong, and Owen was left with no choice but to watch the brownies disappear.
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Defeated and hungry, Owen collapsed to the floor with his head in his hands, and was inconsolable.
I'm A Celebrity is available weekdays at 9pm on ITV.
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