Natasha Exelby
Natasha Exelby

‘I was in a dark place’: Exelby

SHE was famously caught playing with her pen during a live news bulletin but that isn't the only career speed bump Natasha Exelby has faced.

On Thursday night's episode of I'm A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! the journalist opened up about her battle with depression as she spoke of the "dark place" she went into after being sacked from a breakfast show after just 16 days.

In 2013, Exelby was chosen to co-host Network 10's new breakfast show Wake Up, but just days into the role she was fired by the show's executive producer, Adam Boland, in a carpark.

The firing was made all the worse it meant she was no longer employed by Ten and found out just 45 minutes before the sacking was publicly announced, Exelby told her camp mates.


"The ratings were terrible, I don't think I was particularly glowing, so 16 days into it something had to give and that was me," she said.

"At that point that was the toughest grenade that had ever been thrown at my career and I was pretty much wiped off the map."

Exelby said her very public firing left her in a "really dark place" as she struggled with being suddenly unemployed.

"For me work is one of the things that keeps you well … I went into a really dark place, I don't think that's because of the sacking, I think all's fair in love, war and TV. It was just I had time on my hands that I didn't have before," she said.

Exelby told Angie Kent she had struggled with depression since she was in her early teens but her parents had helped her manage it.

Natasha Exelby (left) on the short-lived Wake Up
Natasha Exelby (left) on the short-lived Wake Up

"When I started getting depression when I was 15 … I had this thing that no matter what time I went to bed like clockwork I'd wake up around 1.30am every night," she said.

"My parents were like, 'when you do that just grab us,' because otherwise I was just crying and like.

"So we used to, in the middle of the night probably about 2am, dad would take me out for a walk, and then I would be able to come back and go to sleep, and then he would go out to work, maybe he got an hour's sleep."

In 2017, Exelby went viral globally after she was caught daydreaming and playing with a pen while live on air for ABC News.

On Monday's episode of I'm A Celebrity, she revealed the gaffe resulted in a harsh response from the ABC.

"They (ABC) took me off air; they said I couldn't go on air again," she revealed, adding that her next six weeks of on-air shifts were just "cut out" - and she was offered "producing shifts" instead.

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit the website

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! airs Sunday to Thursday at 7.30pm on Network 10

Exelby’s now famous ABC gaffe
Exelby’s now famous ABC gaffe

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