Karl Burnett explains why he 'had to leave' Celebrity Treasure Island

If you watched TVNZ2's Celebrity Treasure Island on Monday night, you'll know there was a dramatic exit.

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Carolyn Robinson spoke with Burnett, who played Nick Harrison on Shortland Street. Source: Seven Sharp

One of the competitors, actor Karl Burnett, pulled out of the show for mental health reasons.

Burnett shot to fame as a youngster, playing Nick Harrison on Shortland Street for 13 years.

Now in his 40s, Burnett was looking forward to a new challenge on Celebrity Treasure Island.

However, the actor soon began feeling like he didn't belong on the show.

"I started thinking I didn't really fit in here.

"These are people who've won gold medals at the Olympics and then there's me, just an actor," Burnett told Seven Sharp.

Things were better on day two, with the actor playing a pivotal role in a team win.

Source: TVNZ

But he was missing his new son and sleep was elusive.

"I had to leave, I was having some pretty dark thoughts when I was lying there that night.

"Thoughts of my son were pretty much the only thing keeping me from going for a pretty long swim in the ocean I think," he said.

Having received praise for taking himself out of the game to work on his mental health, Burnett says he is now on the mend.

"I'm probably around a six, six and a half, which is pretty good."

Episodes of Celebrity Treasure Island can be viewed at TVNZ OnDemand.