I'm A Celebrity 2021 cast: Matty Lee reveals how Tom Daley took him under his wing and how they first met when he was 7

Matty Lee excited to join ‘I’m A Celebrity’ 2021 after Tokyo 2020 gold win

Reckons Tom has 'savage banter'

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Olympic diver Matty Lee is thrilled to be in I’m A Celebrity 2021, having dreamed about being on the show since he was young.

He is best known for his sensational gold medal win alongside Tom Daley at Tokyo 2020 during the summer of 2021.

And although he won’t get to share Gwrych Castle with his idols Ed Sheeran or Will Smith, he will no doubt be impressed with the star power in the I’m A Celebrity 2021 cast line up.

Matty Lee became immediately famous after winning diving gold with Tom Daley
Matty Lee became immediately famous after winning diving gold with Tom Daley (Credit: LiveMedia /IPA/SplashNews.com)

Who is I’m A Celebrity 2021 cast member Matty Lee? What medals has he won?

Matty Lee is 23 and hails from Leeds. He started diving when he was just seven years old.

He competed at his first European Junior Championships for diving aged just 13.

Matty was selected to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. However he was forced to withdraw from the squad due to injury.

He competed at the inaugural European Games in2015  and won gold in the 10m platform diving event.

Matty’s continued success saw him bag a haul of medals and titles until he was thrust into the mainstream limelight earlier this year.

Read more: I’m a Celebrity: The most iconic Bushtucker Trials in the show’s 20-year history

Among his achievements over recent years have been a bronze medal at the 2017 European Diving Championships.

Matty also won a gold in the mixed 10m platform synchro with diving partner Lois Toulson. A silver medal at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in the 10m mixed synchron with Lois followed shortly after.

Matty and Kyle Kothari won the 10m synchro event at the 2018 British Diving Championships. And individually he placed second in the men’s 10m platform.

Alongside Lois he won a bronze for the mixed platform synchro at the 2018 FINA Diving World Series in Beijing in.

And the pairing bagged a silver at the 2018 European Championships in the mixed 10-metre platform synchro.

Matty Lee won't be afraid of heights on I'm A Celebrity
Matty Lee won’t be afraid of heights on I’m A Celebrity (Credit: I’m A Celebrity YouTube)

When did Matty Lee start diving with Tom Daley?

Matty’s diving partnership with Tom Daley began in 2018. They went on to win a bronze for the 10m synchro at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships.

However, it wasn’t the first time that Matty and Tom met. Matty has revealed he followed Tom’s diving career very closely as a kid.

During an interview on This Morning in July 2021, a snap of Matty as a young boy meeting his then-hero Tom was shown on screen.

“It is so weird how it has all turned out,” he smiled.

Matty added: “Literally, multiple times… [It wasn’t] just that time in the photo… I’d get a photo with him or try and get him to sign a poster.”

Meeting Tom Daley aged 7
Meeting Tom Daley aged 7 (Credit: This Morning YouTube)

What has Matty Lee said about Tom Daley?

It is clear Matty and Tom are excellent friends as well as world-beating diving partners.

Like Tom, Matty has a tattoo of the Olympic rings on his bicep.

And Matty received a very touching gift from Tom, 27, on the occasion of making his Olympic debut.

Read more: Where is the I’m a Celebrity castle and can you book a stay there?

He revealed to Olympics.com: “[Tom] surprised me with this Olympic ring, which is something really cool and special.

“It is the exact same mould of his ring that he got years and years ago after his first Olympics.

“So regardless of how we did, he still had a little surprise he brought from England. It’s so, so special that he got me that.”

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A post shared by Matty Lee (@mattydiver)

Matty has also explained how Tom took him under his wing when moving to the capital.

He told Attitude: “I didn’t know anyone in London at the time, so he introduced me to his friends.

“He had Monday night dinner clubs, and he would invite me to them, because I was quite shy, and not very good at talking to people I don’t know.”

But despite being such good friends, Matty also jokes Tom’s ‘brutal’ banter can be “savage”!

Is Matty Lee single?

It seems he likes to keep his personal life very private – he hasn’t previously spoken about a partner.

Perhaps his time in the castle will make him a little more loose-lipped!

Matty Lee is a huge I'm A Celebrity fan
Matty Lee is a huge I’m A Celebrity fan (Credit: ITV)

What has Matty Lee said about appearing on I’m A Celebrity 2021?

Matty is clearly ecstatic about appearing on the ITV series.

He’s declared taking part as the ‘cherry on the cake’ after his medal success in the summer.

And it seems being a I’m A Celebrity campmate has always been an aspiration – even if he didn’t expect his ultimate goals to align so closely.

Matty said: “Nothing ever prepares you for what life will be like after you do well in the Olympics.

“I was and still am mainly in shock that I am doing I’m A Celebrity.

“My two childhood dreams were to win an Olympic medal and take part in my favourite TV series.

“And now I am doing both this year!”

Members of the I’m A Celebrity 2021 cast joining Matty Lee in the castle
Members of the I’m A Celebrity 2021 cast joining Matty Lee in the castle (Credit: ITV)

However, draughty Gwrych Castle could present some unpleasant surprises as Matty admits he has a phobia of rats.

Matty reflected: “I think I will definitely freak out at rats and I know I will scream.

“Heights won’t be an issue though! I am obviously used to diving off 10 metre boards.”

Nonetheless, he should prove a team player with the role he envisions he could take in the castle.

Matty said of what he expects to do within the group: “I don’t mind helping out with cleaning.”

As might be expected of an Olympian, he has no fear of challenges.

Matty added: “I am really looking forward to the Trials and also, to be around different people will be fun too. I am used to just being around athletes.”

I’m A Celebrity 2021 starts on Sunday November 21 on ITV at 9pm.

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer