Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner living in a tent after quitting celeb life
Jason Gardiner was left living in his tent after his career dried up after he was ditched by Dancing On Ice – and he has now reinvented himself as an eco warrior.
The 49-year-old former TV judge says he is happier now studying soil and planting flowers after realising how ‘toxic’ the world of celebrity is.
But now life is like a bunch of flowers for Jason after he turned his back on the world of celebrity and a friend offered him work on an allotment.
In an interview with The Irish Mirror, Jason explained that he spent three months living in a tent while building eco houses for refugees.
And during his time building the environmentally friendly properties, he had an epiphany about his past life as a bitchy reality TV judge.
Jason said: “When the pandemic hit and I was no longer able to do my passion – I discovered I had another passion. And I am so glad I did because it has been a real life changing experience.
“I have gone on many adventures, met the most amazing people and acquired the most amazing qualification.
“I have found a new life that isn’t about the toxic environment of the TV industry.
“My tenure on Dancing on Ice was always marred with controversy and lots of issues but the problem is, I didn’t realise how toxic it was until I left. It took me a while to decompress from it, I’ll be honest.”
Jason explained that he hit rock bottom when the pandemic hit as he had spent years working on a solo show – which got shut down due to lockdown and he was forced to close his company and let go of his staff when he was ineligible for government help.
The ex-TV star says his mental health struggled when he was left sitting at home with nothing to do – and was helped by a kindly neighbour.
Jason said: “I have been working since I was 16 so it was a real hard thing for me to accept I had to be at home doing nothing,” he continued.
“One of my neighbours, Jennifer, came up to me and said ‘you’re not looking great, what’s happening?’.
“I was so fearful and she said ‘what are you fearful about?’ I told her my story and she was like ‘you need some lovely outdoor work – I’ve got an allotment. I can’t do it on my own, I could really use some help’.
“I said ‘yes’ – I don’t know why but I jumped at it. It’s not something I had ever done before.”
Jason says he had a change of view of his entire outlook on life once he got to work in the great outdoors.
He continued: “The minute she took me there something happened. I don’t know what it was but I just got the excitement back in my life.
“I would wake at 6am every morning and I wouldn’t leave the allotment ‘til eight-nine o’clock at night. I did that seven days a week.
“She taught me a lot about permaculture because that was how she was growing her vegetables. We were growing more than anybody else because of the permaculture principles and I could see we had more butterflies, more bees than anybody else because we got the biodiversity right. I learned a lot from her.”