Scarlett Moffatt has claimed she had to grow ‘thick skin’ after she was called ‘fat’ and ‘Miss Piggy’ while filming a documentary about teenagers with Tourette’s syndrome.
The TV personality, 31, investigates a surge in cases of young people with the disorder in a new Channel 4 special, where she reveals she also developed facial tics before entering her teens.
She told The Sun: ‘Sometimes tics are funny – and I did definitely grow a thick skin during the making of the film. I got called ‘fat’, ‘Miss Piggy’ and ‘old’ while people were tic-ing, but it’s also really serious.’
‘I definitely had to grow thick skin’: Scarlett Moffatt has claimed she was branded ‘fat’ and ‘Miss Piggy’ by teenagers with Tourette’s syndrome as she filmed a documentary at a school
In the programme, the former Gogglebox star visits a school, meets with TikTok influencers, neurologists and charity campaigners to understand Tourette’s in more detail.
She went on to tell the newspaper’s TV Mag: ‘I hope by watching, people get more of an understanding about what it’s like to live a day having Tourette’s.’
Throughout the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of young people being diagnosed with these conditions – medics have claimed.
Tourette’s syndrome is a condition which causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics.
Good watch: The TV personality, 31, investigates a surge in cases of young people with the disorder in a new Channel 4 special (pictured in 2019)
Previously speaking about her documentary, Scarlett told The Sun: ‘This is something I feel incredibly passionate about as I suffered with facial tics when diagnosed with Bell’s palsy as a child.
‘I wish there was this kind of information and education available back then, as it’s something so many young people have to deal with.’
The I’m A Celebrity winner was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy after she was knocked over by a car when she was 11 years old.
Bell’s palsy is temporary weakness or lack of movement affecting one side of the face, and most people recover within the first nine months.
The condition differs from a stroke, as the facial weakness develops gradually.
Interesting: In the programme, the Gogglebox star meets with TikTok influencers, neurologists and charity campaigners to understand Tourette’s in more detail (pictured in March 2022)
Scarlett previously reflected on the moment she was first struck with the condition in her autobiography, Scarlett Says – which was published back in 2016.
‘I was doing a performance for my mum and dad – I used to put on little shows for them – when all of a sudden, my mouth just drooped and I remember standing in front of the mirror and just screaming,’ she recalled.
‘My eye dropped, I couldn’t speak properly, I got all slurred, and my mum and dad thought I was putting it on.
‘I was screaming so loud to try to get my mouth to go straight. I burst into tears and then they realised. It was awful.’
Elsewhere, Scarlett recently said she’s very happy being a size 18 and encourages everyone to celebrate their bodies without having to rely on ‘fatties unite’.
The TV star is trying to get everyone body positive and gives her take on feeling confident.
Having lost three stone herself once, and having been both a size 8 and 18, the TV personality says she knows how it feels to be both sizes, but says body confidence is all about celebrating our bodies.
She believes as long as people are healthy, nice to others, and true to themselves, then everyone should celebrate themselves.
She told The Sun this week: ‘The thing with being body positive and having body confidence is just celebrating everybody’s body.
‘I think sometimes people have this misconception that it’s like ‘fatties unite’.
Wow! She said: ‘Sometimes tics are funny – and I did definitely grow a thick skin during the making of the film. I got called ‘fat’, ‘Miss Piggy’ and ‘old’ while people were tic-ing’
‘Genuinely, no matter what you look like, just celebrate you. As long as you are healthy, being yourself and you’re being nice to people, you do you. That’s the big thing that I want to get across.’
Scarlett’s career started on MTV, but she’s best known for being a star in Channel 4’s Gogglebox along side her parents, before she went on to win the sixteenth series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in 2016.
Since, she’s done a number of programmes, including the I’m a Celebrity side show Extra Camp and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. More recently she’s been involved in a number of documentaries.
However, before entering I’m A Celeb, Scarlett lost three stone after being told by a doctor she was ‘obese’, which prompted her to she exercise regularly and follow a calorie deficit diet.
After being crowned the Queen of the Jungle, Scarlett went on to launch her SuperSlim Me Plan DVD, and it was extremely successful.
Good for you! Scarlett recently said she’s very happy being a size 18 and encourages everyone to celebrate their bodies without having to rely on ‘fatties unite’ (2019, left, 2017, right)
But there were rumours Scarlett had achieved her weight loss through going to intense boot camps and eating just 700 calories a day, and not the workouts in her DVD – rumours the star has denied.
Last year, Scarlett joined Frankie Bridge on her Open Mind podcast and spoke about her weight loss journey.
She said: ‘I’ve deleted all my before and after pictures…Not only were they bad for my peace of mind it wasn’t really good for other people because now I look like my before picture again.’
Scarlett added: ‘I sort of rebelled against [my] DVD because I just didn’t like how it happened and I just wasn’t for it anymore.
‘I purposefully started putting weight on. I was sort of like, ‘if I get big again it can’t get brought up’. I can’t have this stigma attached to me about this DVD and people will stop buying it.’
Scarlett went on to reveal that she did actually follow the diet on the DVD, saying she ‘cut out a lot’ to shed weight.
She said: ‘I think people thought I had been walking and rambling up mountains for six months but it wasn’t, I genuinely did just do those exercises [in the DVD] but obviously I had to cut out a lot of food from what I was normally eating.
‘I think now that is what I want to try to say to people – ‘please don’t think that you can just own this DVD and then instantly you can lose that amount of weight, it is a lot of pressure and it is a lot of work.’
Britain’s Tourette’s Mystery: Scarlett Moffatt Investigates will air on Channel 4 at 10pm on July 19.
WHAT IS TOURETTE’S SYNDROME?
Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological condition characterised by a combination of involuntary noises and movements called tics.
It usually starts during childhood and continues into adulthood. Tics can be either be vocal or physical.
In many cases Tourette’s syndrome runs in families and it’s often associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Tourette’s syndrome is named after the French doctor, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, who first described the syndrome and its symptoms in the 19th century.
There’s no cure for Tourette’s syndrome, but treatment can help to control the symptoms.
Source: NHS Choices