I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

Shannon Noll reveals the heartbreaking way he lost his Australian Idol fortune

“I didn’t blow it on yachts and all that sort of stuff.”

By Candice Mehta-Culjak

Shannon Noll has opened up about the hardships his family faced following the tragic death of his father.

Speaking privately with fellow campmate Fiona O'Loughlin on I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, the singer-songwriter remembered his dad who died of a brain injury after a farming accident.

The tragedy came shortly before he found fame as the 2003 Australian Idol runner-up.

"It would be dad's 73rd birthday today," he said, in an emotional exchange far removed from the knockabout antics we've come to expect from the Aussie rocker.

"It is a pretty hard time for us. That's how it happens I suppose."

Shannon, 42, said the tragedy was felt the hardest by his mother Sharyn.

"It has ruined mum, you know. Mum is not so tough. She will never be the same… with the sons, we had our own kids and our partners, we had things to occupy our minds… but she is in a house in a cold bed every night. Just a constant reminder everywhere she turns."

"It's the hardship of getting left behind. [That] began for her then and it has never stopped."

The "What About Me" hitmaker said his family also suffered financially, as they struggled to maintain the farm in their father's absence -- an occurrence, which saw him lose the majority of the fortune he'd amassed following his rise to fame.

"We tried to farm our way out of it in the next two years. We failed because of the drought so we got enough rain to put the crop in and then it didn't rain at all after that. That cost $40 or 50 grand at a time for fuel, seed, spray. So we went further into debt," he said.

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Nollsie -- as he's lovingly become known -- added that his high-profile only served to draw the attention of creditors, who began chasing his mum all the more vigorously in an attempt to recover debts.

"Big business, though, they don't mind jumping on an opportunity I suppose. We just had enough to buy mum's house. I went on Idol. A few of the creditors were left over, they chased mum really hard for the shortfall," he said.

"I wrote a cash check out for $209,000 for a tractor company. I thought I was doing the right thing - I'd never run a business before. So I paid a lot of these debts out. Consequently all the big money I made after the show, I paid bills with it."

He added: "I didn't blow it on yachts and all that sort of stuff. Just paid [bills]."

The loveable larkin recently revealed the real reason he decided to give up creature comforts for the jungle.

After some career setbacks (he appeared in the headlines last year after an alleged dispute outside an Adelaide strip club), Shannon is on a mission to "reintroduce himself" to the public.

"It's all about the challenge – that's the exciting part for me," Shannon told TV WEEK.

"I don't know how I'll go with it, to be honest. I think just being away from home and missing the family will be a tough part. And being locked away in the compound will be difficult."

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So what does Shannon's wife Rochelle and children Cody, 16, Blake, 15, and Sienna, 11, think about his adventure?

"My wife is a bit apprehensive," he said. "Being away for so long and not having any contact will be a struggle. But they'll definitely be watching from home and cheering me on."

He added: "They're my biggest fans."