Is I’m A Celebrity too soft on campmates who refuse the Bushtucker Trials?

Celebrity jungle dwellers should face extra penalties for not attempting the daily tasks, say former campmates and spin-off hosts

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I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! should be tougher on celebrities who refuse to do Bushtucker Trials, that’s according to some of the show’s former campmates and spin-off hosts.

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The Australian-based reality show is certainly no walk in the park. From chomping on fish eyes, being buried alive with rats and having bowls of spiders put on their heads, the celebrities face a fair amount of spine-chilling challenges. If they don’t complete the task, or fail to score any stars, they already return to camp without grub for their fellow celebrities. When it’s just rice and beans on the menu, the mood among the bunch is always somewhat somber (to put it mildly). But some want to see extra penalties for those who refuse to at least give them a go.

“I always say they should take something away from the camp, so everyone else is on their back making it a really pressured situation,” 2008’s King of the Jungle Joe Swash told RadioTimes.com. “Those trails take months to put together. They’ve been out there for ages building those trials.”

Swash certainly isn’t keen for those who quit tasks to return to the show. “I think you should get blacklisted. Like Helen Flanagan not doing the trials: blacklisted,” he explained, after hosts Ant and Dec even had to try and convince the actress she was capable of giving the trials a bash during the 2012 series. Pop star Kerry Katona and nutritionist Gillian McKeith are also among those who’ve refused to try a challenge along the way.

“If you go into the jungle, you’ve got to do the jungle,” David Morgan, who’s joined this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here NOW! line-up, added. “I think people get really annoyed if you go on and don’t bother.”

“We all watch it every day for the trails, it’s like the highlight of the show,” co-host Laura Whitmore added, admitting it’s disappointing when they don’t go ahead.

With this year’s series the fifteenth in its run, Morgan said celebrities should know what they’re signing up for.

“You know you’re going to have to get into a helicopter,” he explained, alluding to former TOWIE star Gemma Collins’s refusal to fly in one during last year’s opening episode. “They do it every year. You know you’re going to have to have not much food. People know what they’re letting themselves in for.”

Last year’s runner-up Jake Quickenden is on board with the idea of penalties, but he’s not sure about the resulting feuds, his 2014 series notably friendly.

“A lot of work goes into these trials. So if you get somebody who goes in and is not even going to try it – who’s afraid to try it – then that’s a trial wasted,” the former camper told RadioTimes.com. Leaping from X Factor to the jungle, Jake had plenty of success in the trial clearing despite admitting he’s even scared of money spiders at home. “But then everyone else is being punished just from someone else,” he pondered. “It could cause a bit of arguments. But if you want an argumentative camp then yeah, go for it!”

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I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! returns Sunday 15th November at 9:00pm on ITV