GEMMA Collins has opened up about this year's "emotional Christmas" after she recalled her her dad’s terrifying Covid battle last year.
The TOWIE legend revealed that the festive period has brought back memories of how close she came to losing her father.
Alan, 73, tested positive for coronavirus just before Christmas alongside her mum Joan in 2020 – with her dad saying he would "rather be dead" as he fought for his life in hospital.
One year later, the 40-year-old reality star has admitted that Christmas will be tough, as she's reminded of the fear she felt.
"I just keep pinching myself every day, it’s quite an emotional time because it brings back a lot of memories of what I went through with my dad last year when he got ill with Covid," she said on The Gemma Collins Podcast.
"Thank god he’s still alive today.
"It's a really highly emotional time this time of year.”
The TV star recently revealed how 12 months later she often breaks down in tears in public when she thinks about those scary times.
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Speaking to The Sun, Gemma said: "My dad nearly passed with Christmas last year with Covid.
"He gets stronger every day. He is very up and down but he is under strict orders – I only let him work 3 days a week now.
"Long Covid is not a five minute thing. It is a journey. I was so traumatised by it. I keep having flashbacks now.
"I will be in the middle of the street or the shop and suddenly I will start crying and mum will be like 'are you alright?'
"I just cant believe what happened this time last year."
While the past year has been tough on both Gemma and all of her family, the larger-than-life TV star admits it's given her a new outlook on life.
Keen to to cherish every moment, Gemma has teamed up with Sainsbury's to going all out and make sure this Christmas is the her most special yet.
She continued: "I am going to be stuck to my dad like glue. He is going to want to run away from me.
"For me this year we are spending lots of family time.
"This year I have gone all out and I have got caterers in to make sure I don't burn the turkey or the sprouts."
Gemma previously described Covid as “ripping through her family”, but said that him coming out of hospital was the best birthday present after fears he wasn’t going to make it.
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