This year’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! may be showing signs of losing its lustre, but it definitely hasn’t lost it’s power to provoke. At least that’s according to TV regulator Ofcom, who have received more than 600 complaints from enraged viewers during the programme’s nineteenth series.
Though there are several different reasons for them, the majority have been centred around ‘perceived bullying’.
Contestant James Haskell, a former Rugby player, caused outrage when he made a joke about fellow camp-mate (and former England footballer) Ian Wright, saying: “He’s completely lost the plot. Look at that clubfoot.”
The remark led to a condemnation by the clubfoot charity Steps UK, and the comment was the given reason behind 119 of the Ofcom complaints.
Other incidents related to bullying accounted for a further 107 complaints. One of the series’ earlier scandals occurred when Wright and Haskell were accused of bullying comedian Andrew Maxwell during an argument about washing-up.
Ofcom also received complaints about the fairness of some of the Bushtucker trials – specifically, the trial undertaken by Haskell and radio DJ Roman Kemp on 24th November.
In the challenge, Kemp and Haskell had to lie in beds of snakes and attach small stars to one end of the bed. They were only given 90 seconds to do so – prompting 72 complaints to Ofcom because the challenge was too hard. But they would have come as small comfort to Haskell, who exited the camp on Wednesday.
There are still several contestants vying to win the reality series, and tensions are starting to run high ahead of Sunday’s final.
I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! continues every night at 9pm on ITV