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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 17:23 GMT
Lydon quits I'm a Celebrity show
John Lydon
Lydon had been favourite to win the contest
Former punk rocker John Lydon has quit the ITV show I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

The controversial star hugged his fellow contestants before leaving the camp at 0230 GMT on Thursday.

ITV has refused to explain why Lydon, 47, decided to leave. He sparked scores of complaints after saying two extreme swear words live on Tuesday's show.

Meanwhile, ex-footballer Neil "Razor" Ruddock became the third celebrity to be voted off the show on Wednesday.

Producers have decided not to have the fourth eviction on Thursday's programme because two celebrities left the previous day.

Neil Ruddock
The other contestants were shocked to see Neil Ruddock go
Lydon will not be allowed to rejoin the camp if he changes his mind and will not be replaced by a stand-in, an ITV spokeswoman said.

"We respect his decision to quit and hope we haven't seen the last of him," she said.

"He has been fantastic entertainment on the show and viewers and his fellow celebrities have found him to be an endearing, eccentric and sensitive character."

Lydon's expletive outburst earlier this week came after he realised he was not going to be evicted.

ITV and media regulator Ofcom received 91 complaints and the former Sex Pistols singer was warned not to repeat the outburst.

The broadcaster has now put into place a time delay of a few seconds so it can make sure no more surprise swear words go out on air.

6/4 - Lord Brocket
13/8 - Kerry McFadden
4/1 - Jordan
7/1 - Peter Andre
18/1 - Jennie Bond
20/1 - Alex Best
Source: William Hill

But Lydon's tirade has boosted sales of the Sex Pistols' classic album Never Mind the Bollocks at Virgin Megastores - sales are up 169% compared to last week.

A spokesman for Virgin Megastores, Simon Dornan, said: "It is amazing and quite brilliant that a prime time reality TV show has introduced a whole new fan base to John, who is of course one of rock's undisputed icons.

Neil Ruddock was one of the favourites to win when the show began last week and his fellow contestants were shocked to see him go.

He told presenters Declan Donnelly and Ant McPartlin the worst thing about being in the camp was the hunger.

"I could not eat the food - I thought I was going to die," he said after his eviction.

Ruddock also said Lydon was a good person underneath: "When you get past them scary eyes, he's quite a nice person."

There are six other contestants left in the show - Alex Best, Kerry McFadden, Jennie Bond, Peter Andre, Jordan and Lord Brocket.

Lord Brocket has been installed as the new favourite by bookmakers, followed by former Atomic Kitten star McFadden.

John Lydon: Still rotten
05 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
ITV apologises for Lydon outburst
04 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Read voted out of celebrity show
03 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Lydon favourite to win Celebrity
28 Jan 04  |  Entertainment

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