The truth about those I’m a Celebrity trial “rehearsal” rumours – and why it doesn’t matter

As reports emerge suggesting the I'm A Celebrity contestants get a heads-up on how to do a trial, Helen Daly begs us not to dwell on it.

Vernon Kay

If you think of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! you think of bugs, slime, snakes… Bushtucker Trials, in short.

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They’re a staple of the hit ITV show – we see one every single episode and they’re invariably the moment we sit and talk to our friends and family about. “Did you hear the noises Paul Burrell was making?”, “How funny was it when Mo Farah hit the deck?!”, “Did that cockroach really go up Fatima Whitbread’s nose?”

They bring about so many unpredictable, exciting and joyful moments that quite rightly they’re what I’m A Celeb is best known for.

However, a report emerged earlier in the week suggesting, to many a fan’s shock and horror, there’s an element of production behind them and the I’m A Celebrity 2020 line-up stars voted to take on the gruesome challenge can have a run-through.

An I’m A Celebrity spokesperson told us: “Contestants are told the instructions of a Trial and producers ensure that they understand what is required of them in line with our health and safety procedures.  Any suggestion of run throughs or practising is incorrect.”

My first thought on the topic hit me faster than a wave of nausea after seeing a celebrity eating a fish eye: of course they get a briefing beforehand. This is the biggest show on TV which has a genuine element of danger to it, so of course they ensure the celebs know what they’re doing and that health and safety procedures are adhered to.

They definitely don’t “rehearse” the Bushtucker Trials, but if you’re not happy about the fact the celebs get a health and safety briefing before they step into the face of danger, I’m here to tell you why it doesn’t matter in the slightest.

This is a television show after all. Would anyone expect the celebrities to go in without checking it’s all safe to do so? No. Does it ruin I’m A Celebrity in anyway? Absolutely not.

Furthermore, on a high-octane show like I’m A Celebrity, does it make sense to sit and watch the terms and conditions play out on screens? Of course it doesn’t, we want to see offal and we want to see it now!

I don’t care if the celebrities have “learned” how to do the task beforehand, or know where to stand to complete the challenge. What matters to me is the fact they’re doing the trials at all.

As established above, I’m A Celebrity wouldn’t be what it is today if it didn’t have Bushtucker Trials; a fundamental part of the show is watching some pretty well-known names having an all-round bad time getting covered in bugs, slime and everything else nasty.

The magic hasn’t gone because we found out the celebs learn how to do the Trial beforehand, and let’s not forget cheeky Ant and Dec do offer the contestants some helpful hints and tips. Being filled in on the mechanics of a Trial beforehand hasn’t given the line-up any advantage anyway – they don’t always get a perfect 12.

What’s more, there are certain classic Bushtucker moments which simply couldn’t be rehearsed, even if you tried. You can’t tell a cockroach to crawl up an Olympian’s nose. You can’t recreate a world champion runner falling over after being slapped on the head with fish guts. And you’d certainly be hard-pressed to find many people who would eat not one but two fish-eyes, just to practice.

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It’s been a hugely difficult year for the entertainment industry as a whole, let’s actually celebrate their sterling efforts to get I’m A Celebrity on air at all, instead of worrying about whether a trial has been rehearsed or not.

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