Chris Packham has written an open letter to Ant and Dec, urging the hosts of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! to reconsider the “use/abuse” of animals in the show.
“It spoils the show because it’s simply out of date, some would say barbaric,” writes Packham in this week’s Radio Times. “And actually it’s often pretty silly too, because many viewers recognise that the species used are not dangerous, or significantly toxic or venomous in the first place.
“Or that they’ve been “doctored”, their fangs sealed, their jaws bound so, even under the stress they’re exposed to, they couldn’t possibly harm any of your guests. But then, let’s face it, as we all know, you couldn’t let that happen anyway. It’s a sham.”
Contrary to the stance of the show’s producers, the Autumnwatch presenter maintained that the animals suffered: “I’m afraid I can guarantee that some animals are harmed during production, because they are fragile or easily stressed. Or simply killed, as they are in your ‘Bushtucker Trials’.”
ITV declined to pass on Packham letter to Ant and Dec for a reply, but released a statement: “Ant and Dec are the presenters of the show, and as such are not involved with the formatting of the trials, which are devised by the show’s producers. ITV takes animal welfare very seriously and expert handlers are on hand at all times.”
I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! 2016 celebrities