I’m A Celebrity is the biggest show of 2020

More than 11 million viewers tuned in to see Giovanna Fletcher crowned Queen of the Castle.

Giovanna Fletcher

ITV has declared its extreme reality series I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here as the biggest show of 2020, boasting huge viewership for its first edition filmed in the UK.

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After 18 years on our screens, it appears that the nation hasn’t lost any of its appetite for the show’s unique setting and gruelling challenges, with an average of 11.2 million viewers watching across the latest series.

I’m A Celebrity 2020 got off to a particularly strong start this year as 14.3 million people tuned in to see the opening episode, as this year’s group of stars faced a dramatic arrival to their castle camp.

This is the biggest ever overall audience for the opening episode of the long-running series and the biggest show of the year outside of news specials, which 2020 has seen plenty of amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It also provided ITV with their largest audience since 2018’s Croatia v England World Cup semi-final, adding yet another feather to I’m A Celeb’s distinguished cap.

These numbers are consolidated seven day viewing figures, meaning they include everybody who watched the show live as it aired on ITV, as well as those who caught up later in the week, for example via ITV Hub.

Overall, this year’s I’m A Celebrity was the second most-watched edition of all-time, beaten only by 2018’s series which saw Harry Redknapp crowned King of the Jungle in a final which also featured Emily Atack and John Barrowman.

The series has also proved popular with young people, as an average of 2.8 million viewers aged between 16 and 34 tuned in across the 20-episode run, a demographic which terrestrial television has struggled to wrangle in the past.

I’m A Celebrity showrunner Richard Cowles has previously said that he is open to keeping the show in Wales next year and these encouraging results make a case for that idea.

He told Broadcast: “Australia has been I’m A Celebrity’s natural home and the Welsh version was born out of necessity rather than choice, but we’ve learned a lot and so maybe there is a UK incarnation of the show.

“We will look at what being in Wales means for the format going forward. Is it something we would want to do again, or do we want to return to Australia?”

In addition, a poll by RadioTimes.com found that roughly two-thirds of I’m A Celeb fans would like to see the show return to this year’s castle setting.

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I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here returns to ITV in 2021. While you’re waiting, check out our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.