I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is back on our TV screens, bringing with it another batch of Bushtucker Trials.
These challenges see celebrities being put through all manner of hellish scenarios, from being buried underground with rats and eels (Joe Swash, 2009) to swimming in a tank with snakes (Jordan Banjo, 2016) or donning a fishbowl helmet filled with 20 spiders and all manner of creepy crawlies (Adam Thomas, 2016).
It’s all intended to be a bit of jungle fun for the viewers at home, but is it fair on the animals involved? That’s a question that’s been raised on numerous occasions – particularly after 2015 runner-up Ferne McCann ate a live water spider live on air.
In 2014 ITV told Radio Times that they take animal welfare “very seriously” and said that “expert handlers are on hand at all times” during the trials.
But what do you think? Should the show stop using the creatures as part of the challenges?
I’m A Celebrity’s animal debate
2009 – ITV is fined £1660 for animal cruelty after contestants Gino D’Acampo and Stuart Manning kill and cook a rat in the jungle. Producers apologise for the incident and put new procedures in place to stop it happening again. This incident was not part of a Bushtucker Trial.
2014 – Nature presenter Chris Packham writes an open letter calling for I’m A Celeb to stop using animals in Bushtucker Trials. The broadcaster says ITV takes animal welfare very seriously and reassures viewers that expert animal handlers are present at all times.
2015 – Contestant Ferne McCann eats a live water spider live on air. Ofcom receives more than 1,500 complaints but ultimately decides not to investigate.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! continues on ITV