Why Ant and Dec make I’m a Celebrity a guaranteed success for ITV

The show has been running for 13 years, even longer than The X Factor, but thanks to the Geordie duo, viewers haven't lost their taste for Bushtucker trials says Mark Jefferies

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By the time you read this I will be mid-air on my way to Australia, which means we are a week away from the start of one of the most unpredictable reality shows on TV.

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I can’t wait for I’m A Celebrity, and to be honest, neither can bosses at ITV.

Whilst X Factor is on the slide, and a common remark is viewers are a little bored of the format, you never hear that complaint about the jungle show.

Being on for only around three weeks helps: people seem to look forward to it every year, and there isn’t much time to get bored.

Another factor is you see a new side to some celebrities – and, sometimes, find out why they are famous in the first place! It’s the same trick Strictly Come Dancing has managed to pull off, with so much success.

The new tasks and the new personalities keep it fresh, even if the location remains the same.

And then there are the hosts.

For me, this is the show where Ant and Dec excel the most – it’s a presenting masterclass from the Geordie duo. They make me laugh out loud, and you can see they genuinely enjoy the show and their time in Oz.

This year will be a special one, as Ant turns 40 during the first week of shows and has the night off to enjoy it.

It’s amazing to think I’m A Celebrity has been going 13 years. There will come a time when audiences, and those buying advertising slots, will get tired of it, but I don’t feel that time is now.

Rumoured contestants including Chris Eubank, Yvette Fielding, Vicky Pattison and Duncan Bannatyne. It sounds like a varied enough bunch.

So bring on the Bushtucker trials on 15th November – and the bumper audiences for ITV.

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Mark is showbiz editor at the Daily Mirror. He flew out to cover I’m A Celebrity with British Airways, which offers flights and holidays to Australia. www.ba.com/australia