Craig Charles has publicly spoken for the first time about his grief, following the death of his brother Dean last month. The DJ and former I'm A Celebrity contestant quit the show just days after entering the jungle, when he was told by ITV bosses that his sibling had passed away.
Reflecting back on the moment he was delivered the news in Australia, Craig, 50, revealed that his first thought had been that he hadn't spoken to his brother in a while.
The Coronation Street actor admitted that he had felt too busy to reply to any of Dean's texts.
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Craig Charles quit I'm A Celebrity when he discovered his brother Dean had died
"Dean had left me a couple of text messages before I came in [the jungle] saying 'Craig how are you? Can we meet up?'" a devastated Craig told the Sunday Express newspaper.
"And I'd kind of blanked him because I had too much going on. There was all sorts of stuff I had to get sorted before I went into the jungle. So I thought, 'You know what, I'll leave it until I come out then I'll get in contact with him then.'"
Dean, who was close to his brother and had tried to keep fit by running and cycling despite battling weight problems, passed away from a blood clot travelling to his heart.
Craig Charles says goodbye to his I'm A Celebrity campmates as he leaves the jungle
"Our Dean died at 52, that's no age," said Craig, who is only two years younger. "I'm sure he's up there with a load of regrets of things he should have done… a bridge he should have mended.
"I don't want to die with regrets like that. I just want to live every day as if it's my last because one day I'll be right."
While the actor, who plays Lloyd Mullaney on the nation's longest-running soap, is still filming and DJs frequently, Craig said that he plans to spend more time with his wife Jackie Fleming and their two daughters Anna Jo, 17, and Nellie, 11.
Craig Charles admitted that he felt too busy to reply to his brother's texts before he died
"The past is dead and buried," he said. "You can't be defined by it, all you can do is to try to make the present as happy as possible. Now we've decided we're going to try to be a lot closer as a family unit."
Following the death of his brother in November, an ITV spokesperson confirmed that Craig – who was told the news when he woke up – would fly back to the UK to be with his grieving relatives.
At the time a show source told the Mirror: "We took the decision not to shock Craig and wake him in the middle of the night, and will inform him of the sad news when he wakes up. He will be allowed to do exactly as he wishes."