I'm A Celebrity sparks 134 Ofcom complaints since series launch

I’m A Celebrity sparks 134 Ofcom complaints within 48 hours of series launch over the treatment of animals, the rabbit meal for camp and Jordan North’s sick scenes

  • 50 viewers complained about a scene on Sunday’s launch which showed Jordan  North being sick
  • A further 54 complained about the treatment of animals, including the meals for camp
  • The remaining 30 complaints will be revealed in Ofcom’s weekly audience report on Wednesday
  • The show garnered a record-breaking 12million viewers for it series launch
  • Fans have been loving the relocation from Australia to Gwyrch Castle in Wales 

I’m A Celebrity has prompted 134 Ofcom complaints since the show started on Sunday. 

The launch, which saw 10 celebrities battle windswept Wales to get to Gwyrch Castle, garnered a record number of 12million viewers tuning in. 

However a small fraction of those wrote into Ofcom, feeling a scene in which Jordan North was violently sick over a cliff shouldn’t have been aired, while others complained over the show’s treatment of animals. 

Complaints: I’m A Celebrity has prompted 134 Ofcom complaints since the show started on Sunday, with some complaining that producers gave the camp rabbit to eat 

Viewers watched on Sunday night Radio 1 DJ Jordan battle his fears as he was told he had to abseil down a cliff to rescue the celebrities kit for camp. 

Feeling queasy by the task, the 30-year-old vomited in the bushes before bravely descending the slopes.  

Ofcom revealed 50 viewers had complained about the stomach-churning scenes, while 54 complaints had been recorded to date about the treatment of animals, including the meals for camp which so far have comprised of eel and rabbit.  

It’s a hit! The launch, which saw 10 celebrities battle windswept Wales to get to Gwyrch Castle, garnered a record number of 12million viewers tuning in

Stomach churning: However a small fraction of those wrote into Ofcom, feeling a scene in which Jordan North was violently sick over a cliff shouldn’t have been aired

The other thirty complaints were for various other reasons, with Ofcom to release the breakdown of their weekly audience complaints report on Wednesday. 

MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment. 

Despite Jordan’s vomiting scenes, the presenter has been a hit with viewers as both he and  Shane Richie both took part in The Viper Vault trial with dozens of snakes. 

Shaking with fear, Jordan sang to himself: ‘Happy place, Happy place. Turf more’ as he tried to unlock a series of safes while snakes wound around him. 

His stellar performance means he was picked to take part in the second Bushtucker Trial, Frights of the Round Table. 

Concerned: 54 complaints had been recorded to date about the treatment of animals after the celebrities competed in the Viper Vault with around 50 snakes

The complaints come after the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals criticised the show.

The RSPCA has said they have ‘serious concerns’ about the use of live animals in the Bushtucker Trials as the series takes place in the UK this year for the first time. 

On Monday’s episode, Jordan and Shane both took part in The Viper Vault trial with more than fifty snakes.

While on Sunday, several campers participated in the Gates To Hell trial which saw them showered with cockroaches, mealworms and crickets.

The RSPCA released a statement, saying: ‘Since I’m a Celebrity was first aired, animals have been dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, scared by contestants and prevented from escaping from stressful experiences. 

Criticism: The RSPCA has said they have ‘serious concerns’ about the use of live animals in the Bushtucker Trials as the series takes place in the UK this year for the first time

‘There have also been incidents where animals have been killed for no other purpose than entertainment.

‘The show’s messaging and the potential to prompt people to try and copy the “Bushtucker Trials” at home for entertainment is also worrying and we feel that deliberately portraying certain species as nasty or frightening or as objects that can be used purely for entertainment rather than sentient, living creatures sends out totally the wrong message.’

The charity added that show bosses had been in touch with them prior to the series airing but they were disappointed to learn they would still be using animals.

They said: ‘Throughout the years, we’ve been raising our concerns with the production company about how animals were being treated on the Australia-based programme, but we never received a response from the show.

‘We were very pleased when the show’s production company got in touch with us in the planning stages of this year’s series, set here in the UK. 

‘We spoke to them about changing the way they use animals along with the change of continent – perhaps introducing welfare-friendly alternatives to animal use in the trials. 

The RSPCA said: ‘Animals have been dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, scared by contestants and prevented from escaping from stressful experiences’

‘However, we were really disappointed to be told that they would continue to be using animals in this way during this series. We know that many of you, the animal loving public, agree with us and really dislike the use of animals in this way.’

The RSPCA added they would continue to put pressure on ITV and the show’s producers to ‘rethink’ the way animals are used on the programme.

They said: ‘We’ll be watching the programme and will flag up any concerns we have to the producers.

‘Unfortunately, a number of the animals used in the challenges, such as cockroaches and crickets, are invertebrates and aren’t covered by the Animal Welfare Act or the Performing Animals Act, which apply in Wales. 

They added: The show’s messaging and the potential to prompt people to try and copy the “Bushtucker Trials” at home for entertainment is also worrying’

‘This means they have little protection under the law. However, if we’re alerted to concerns about other animals which are covered by these laws being caused suffering or distress during this programme, we’ll look into this, and, where appropriate, investigate. Where we can act, we will.’  

The RSPCA encouraged viewers who take issue with the way animals are used on the show to contact Ofcom or ITV directly. 

A spokesperson for the programme told the Daily Star: ‘I’m A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices.’ 

The show’s notorious Bushtucker trials – which sees celebrities locked in with live animals and forced to eat living creatures such as spiders, mealworms and cockroaches – has ignited fierce controversy over the years.

Statement: A spokesperson for I’m A Celebrity said: ‘I’m A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals’

In 2018, I’m A Celeb fans have accused the show of animal cruelty after they noticed that that the crocodiles used in the trials had their mouths taped shut.

Viewers of the show noticed the tape as Sair Khan took on the Sickening Sewer Bushtucker Trial.

They have also slammed the show’s hosts Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby for warning Sair to ‘be careful’ around the croc, despite it having it’s mouth shut.

While another added: ‘Very, very disappointed by tonight’s #imaceleb for taping shut the mouth of a crocodile and using it in a trial. No one wants to see that. The poor creature must have been terrified.  

‘It’s completely unnecessary to use a fully grown crocodile and tape its mouth shut for entertainment.’

Another viewer, who said they wouldn’t normally comment on this that sort of thing, added: ‘Taping up a crocodiles mouth and throwing it in there. I’m not usually one to call animal abuse but come on #imacelebrity #imaceleb.’ 

Cruel? I’m A Celeb fan  accused the show of animal cruelty in 2018 after they noticed that that the crocodiles used in the trials had their mouths taped shut

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