No live insects to be eaten on this year’s I’m a Celeb

The "permanent" change to the ITV show has been planned by producers for "some time"

I'm a Celeb 2019 (ITV)

This year’s I’m a Celeb stars won’t be asked to eat live critters in a “permanent” change to the ITV show.

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Although contestants in past Bucktucker Trials have chomped insects while they are still alive, any bugs eaten during the show will already be dead.

However, the celebs can still expect to be showered with living creepy-crawlies, and ‘endurance’ challenges – where campmates are asked to hold live critters in their mouths – will also remain.

An ITV source told RadioTimes.com: “No live critters will be eaten in the Bushtucker Trials this year. Producers have taken a look at the Trials and decided that no live critters would be eaten in the Trials this year.

“They have been planning this for some time and actually last year beach worms were the only critters eaten live but this time around they’ve decided to implement the change fully and permanently.”

Wildlife presenter Chris Packham was one of those to welcome the shake-up, saying he hoped the decision was “the start of some significant change”.

“What’s long concerned me about the programme is that it portrays animals in the wrong way,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“There was never any ambiguity that eating live invertebrates was abuse and also exploitation for entertainment.”

Ten celebrities are set to enter the I’m a Celeb Jungle when the show kicks off on Sunday 17th November. Contestants include reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, former footballer Ian Wright and Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle.

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I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! launches Sunday 17th November at 9pm on ITV