Watching our favourite celebs (that’s me being very, very kind) gobbling down on mealworms, beetles and even the odd kangaroo anus has become a staple of the famous reality show.
But, just as the series is set to return for its 19th series, fans have learned that the show has permanently banned the eating of live “critters” from tasks, following growing complaints from animal rights groups.
An ITV source told BB1 Radio 1 Newsbeat:
“No live critters will be eaten in the Bush Tucker 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.”
This means that any bugs, insects or critters eaten on the show this year will already be dead. Luckily, a kangaroos anus is definitely already dead, so at least they’re not taking that gem away from us.
Reportedly, environmental and animal activists have been putting pressure on the ITV reality show to ban live bug eating for some time now. TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham famously wrote a letter to hosts Ant and Dec asking them to stop the “abuse of animals” on their show. Packham wrote:
“Further, to say that exploiting animals for entertainment is a thing of the past in civilised societies in the 21st century should be a given.
“Circuses have gone, dancing bears have gone, cock and dog fighting are the sad preserve of psychopathic criminals…we have no performing dolphins in the UK and no Chimpanzees dressed up for tea time.
“The cruel exploitation of wildlife for gratuitous entertainment on your programme is now no more than an ugly anachronism.
“It’s embarrassing the great reputation of the UK as a ‘nation of animal lovers’. I am certain that you and the imaginative producers at ITV could find very entertaining ways of replacing these segments of your show.
“So can I please, on behalf of a large and growing number of people, ask you to immediately stop abusing animals on ‘I’m a Celebrity’?
“Declan, you have a daughter, please think about how she will perceive your actions as she grows into a world increasingly devoid of wildlife… we are now all aware that we have a duty to safeguard our world for future generations.”
Naturally, the decision to ban live bug-eating from the show has been welcomed by Packham (sort of), who described the move as a good “first step”. This week, he told BBC Radio 5 Live that he was “very pleased”, adding:
“I hope this is the start of some significant change.”
This year’s line-up includes reality television legend Caitlyn Jenner, former Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle, ex-footballer and broadcaster Ian Wright and Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts. Meet the full line-up here.
Earlier this week, we reported that I’m a Celebrity… Get me Out of Here 2019 is under threat as huge bushfires rage in Australia, putting the camp in danger of being engulfed in fire. Read more here.
I’m going to keep my opinion on this story short and sweet. This news made me roll my eyes initially, but then I remembered that A Bug’s Life makes me cry every f*cking time.
As long as we’ve still got kangaroo anuses, crocodile testicles and fish eyes, I guess we’ll be alright.
I’m A Celebrity launches on Sunday 17th November at 9pm on ITV.
Images via ITV and Getty
Having worked in children's media and publishing for almost a decade, Ben is thoroughly excited to now be able to swear in stories and features. He is such a big fan of Disney and Horror films that he started an LGBTQ+ podcast called 'Once Upon A Scream'. His mum listens. You can contact Ben at [email protected] Twitter: @PulsfordBen / Instagram: @thebenmidlerFollow