I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Why Ant and Dec make the show work

Seeing a bunch of celebrities dropped into the Australian jungle is entertaining enough – but it’s hosts Ant and Dec that have kept me tuning in for 12 series, says Emma Daly

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Thank goodness for Ant and Dec. It’s bound to be a long winter (unlike them, I’m not enjoying the Australian sunshine) and their cheeky antics are the perfect boost to push us, the viewing public, through the boredom of November and into the delights of Christmas.

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This isn’t a serious show – much as the sobbing celebrities would have us believe. They are eating bugs, sleeping outside and not getting a bath. It’s what most seven-year-olds would dream of.

And Ant and Dec get this. They poke fun at the celebrities, themselves and the off-camera crew – often admitting that things have gotten a little too cheeky (with, say, a shower-scene montage or a political reference), by addressing the man in charge: “Evening Prime Minister”.

The pair have also had a bash at a couple of trials themselves – most memorably donning their superhero outfits for a go at Celebrity Cyclone in 2011 for charity – so they’ve already eliminated the ‘if it’s so easy, you do it then’ issue. They can mock away freely.

Not that being afraid to even remove a teeny spider from my kitchen will stop me chuckling from my sofa as another celebrity screams for mercy (probably with a cockroach wedged up their nose). But then I’m not on the telly (they just haven’t discivered me yet).

Social media increasingly plays its part in the show. Ant and Dec are already calling the tweeting masses to arms on their website asking, “#WhatsTheHashtag” after last year’s show prompted the start of, among others, #NOTahighfivemoment.

There were certainly plenty of those. Helen Flanagan’s fake tan, Nadine Dorries’ early exit, Rosemary Shrager farting…

And us viewers aren’t just left with a list of voting lines to keep us occupied. Ant and Dec created ‘Ant and Dec’s word up’ which saw viewers suggest random words the presenters had to try and drop into their live segments. Twitter was full of suggestions from ‘vajazzle’ to ‘discombobulate’ and there are already calls for it to return this series.

Ant and Dec make me feel involved, keep me laughing and at the end of the day, stop me feeling like I’m filling my evenings simply watching a group of people I don’t actually know go camping. 

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Get Me Out Of Here! NOW! returns on 17 November on ITV and ITV2


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