Gogglebox star Andrew Bennett has spoken out for the first time after his back was broken in a street attack.
Andrew shot to fame on Gogglebox series 12 alongside his best pal Fawn but everything changed when he was attacked outside a bar on December 1 in 2018.
Now in an exclusive chat with The Mirror, the reality star revealed he had “everything taken away” from him.
His attacker Adam King pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
King must carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, pay £1,500 in compensation and £85 in costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.
It was a “significant day” for Andrew after the horror attack was like a “waking nightmare” for the star.
“I had a broken back, what’s known as a transverse fracture. I’ve had PTSD, depression, anxiety, flashbacks to that night. It’s like a waking nightmare.” He told The Mirror.
“Being on TV, being a party person and being used to do a lot of horse riding, then to have everything taken away was daunting.”
Andrew was left in “debilitating pain” after he was sent “flying in the air into the middle of the road” in the assault two years ago.
The star remembered the attacker running in his direction before he was swept off his feet into the middle of the road where he was kicked and punched.
His friends were inside the bar when the terrifying attack took place.
At the time, he was rushed to Sunderland Royal hospital in the early hours with nasty injuries.
He told us: “In hospital, I was in very debilitating pain which was so intense. Scoring 11 out of 10. I needed assistance with everything I was doing, for example getting to and from bed to use the toilet.
“I went from being so independent and life on track with lovely things happening to bang.”
His loyal pals came to visit him at his hospital bed to put a smile on his face throughout the festive season.
But Andrew has never felt angry towards his attacker.
The TV sensation was grateful to get where he is now – having had intensive physio as well as strong rehabilitation on a zimmer frame and crutches.
He went on: “I have never felt angry. I’m walking, I’m talking, I had a strong rehabilitation on a zimmer frame and crutches and intensive physio to get where I am now. I didn’t have that anger.
“I’ve had a very stable upbringing, knowing what was right and wrong. Maybe he wasn’t fortunate enough to have that.”
He added: “I’ve been through so much trauma. It’s had an impact these past two years.”