I’m A Celeb backlash as finale hit with Ofcom complaints over animal treatment

Sam Thompson announced as winner of I’m a Celeb 2023

This year’s series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Came to an end last Sunday with a new king of the jungle being crowned. However, it looks as though not all viewers were thrilled with the episode as it was hit with 60 Ofcom complaints.

Reality star Sam Thompson was made the new champion with boxer Tony Bellew finishing in second place and former MP Nigel Farage coming third. During the episode, each celebrity had to complete a Bushtucker Trial alone.

In order to win treats for their final meal in the jungle, Sam endured an eating challenge while Nigel was locked in a coffin with snakes. Whereas Tony was pinned down and covered in a range of creepy crawlies which included scorpions and spiders.

Unimpressed with the finale, 60 people complained to Ofcom about the show with 31 grievances surrounding the treatment of animals. This isn’t the first time that the ITV show has come under fire this year.

Last week, Ofcom received a combined total of 117 complaints across two separate episodes. Again, with many relating to the treatment of animals.

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Although the largest number of grievances came early on in the series with almost 2,000 complaints being made following Nella Rose’s clashes with two campmates.

It hasn’t just been fans of the show who have vocalised their thoughts on the usage of live animals either.

Naturalist and BBC presenter Chris Packham made his feelings on the trials extremely clear in a letter he posted on Twitter.

Captioning a screengrab of the letter, he wrote: “Hello, I’ve written another letter to @antanddec about the ongoing appalling abuse of animals on @ITV programme @imacelebrity.

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“I’ve tried to be polite but my patience has run thin. If you agree with what it says please RT . #ImACeleb.”

The tweet received a high amount of praise from Chris’ following as it racked up 13,000 retweets with 27,000 liking the post.

However, an ITV spokesperson commented: “We are always fully transparent about our protocols and we have a very strict environmental plan in place on the show.

“As a production, we comply with all regional and national laws concerning the use of insects, animals and reptiles. Welfare and safety is always the primary priority on any of our programmes, and at any Bushtucker trial that features animals, we have qualified and experienced animal handlers on-site at all times.”

ITV added the RSPCA NSW are informed on all of the show’s activities with rigorous protocols in place to ensure animals are handled safely at all times.

The celebrities are now miles away from the creepy crawlies of the jungle as fans will be able to follow their journeys after leaving the show on Wednesday night.

Viewers will be given a behind-the-scene look at what the campmates have been up to along with interviews from the stars’ friends and family

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Coming Out airs on December 13 on ITV from 9pm

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