Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner lived in a tent after show exit and quitting fame

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Former Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner has revealed how he changed his life after leaving the show.

Jason, 49, left the ITV skating show in 2019 and has now said he didn't realise how "toxic" taking part in the series was until he took a step back and changed his life.

The former DOI judge, who was nicknamed 'Mr Nasty' on the show, left the series following his clash with contestant Gemma Collins on the 2019 series.

Now, Jason has become an eco warrior and currently helps to teach people in Portugal how to live sustainably – which is a hugely different lifestyle to that he was leading in the celebrity world.

Jason lived in a tent for three months while he helped build eco-friendly houses for refugees and said his new carer path is a "real life changing experience".

He revealed: "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.

"Then I would wake up at 6am, do my yoga outside, go for a walk and that’s when I realised I’m living an amazing experience right here. Slowly but surely I began to realise I was so much better because I wasn’t stressed.

"That’s the other thing permaculture teaches you – what is a good use of your time and energy."

He added to the Irish Mirror: "It’s vitally important to the quality of life you are going to live.

"People think with sustainability you have to go without," Jason explained. "That’s not what sustainability is – it’s being able to live your life by harnessing the natural energies we have and they’re for free."

Jason also explained how he had been working on a solo show before the pandemic hit and forced him to cancel the tour.

His company was not eligible for government support so he was forced to shut it down and "let go of my staff".

The former judge said: "That really forced me to evaluate lots of things where I’d been very wasteful. I had direct debits for things I didn’t even use and I was thinking, 'This is nuts'."

He was then approached by one of his neighbours who introduced him to gardening.

Reflecting on the life-changing moment, where he discovered his new passion, he said: "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," he said. "It’s not something I had ever done before.

"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."

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