9 of i'm a celebrity's most complainedabout moments ever
9 of I'm a Celebrity's most complained-about moments ever
Each year, the nation settles down on a cold winter's night to laugh at a bunch of celebrities having a nightmare of a time deep in the Australian jungle – thanks for that,I'm a Celebrity!
But while we love it, sometimes, the show falls foul of the viewing public in such a way that fans flock to telly regulator Ofcom to voice their discontent.
Here, we take a look back at some of the most complained-about moments since the show began...
1. Ferne McCann's eight-legged dessert (Series 15, 2015)
FormerThe Only Way Is Essexstar Ferne headed to the jungle in 2015 and made it all the way to the final three, narrowly losing out on the crown only to George Shelley and eventual winner Vicky Pattison. She did, however, win the contest for the most complained about segment of the series as around 1,500 people complained to Ofcom after Ferne ate a live spider – we know, eww – as part of a challenge to win Dingo Dollars.
When the first 500 came in almost immediately after the scene, the media watchdog confirmed it would assess the complaints and decide whether to take any action against the ITV show. In January 2019, the regulator clearedI'm a Celebrityof any wrongdoing saying that the nature of the task was "well within" what would be expected of the show.
2. Charlie Brooks misses chance to see her daughter (Series 12, 2012)
Eventual winner Charlie – best known for playing Janine Butcher inEastEnders– missed the chance to hug her 7-year- old daughter Kiki after their 18 days apart and later told camp she was "heartbroken".
Some 66 viewers complained to Ofcom and accused ITV of "exploiting" the little girl for a "cruel" stunt and, although the regulator rejected concerns that Kiki had been "distressed" by the situation, the watchdog did censure the programme for multiple failings after they declared they had "serious concerns".
Ofcom ruled that ITV hadn't done enough to assure viewers of Kiki's wellbeing before, during and immediately after the challenge and didn't detail the "due care" taken in deciding on Kiki's participation.
3. Swearing before the watershed – Series 6, 2006
In a series full of strong personalities such as Matt Willis, Myleene Klass and Dean Gaffney, it wasn't the bickering but the language that caused viewers to complain.
One particular episode in late November aired at 8pm – before the watershed – and the media regulator was forced to launch an investigation after 23 viewers objected to the use of words such as "bloody", "bullshit" and "bastards".
Rapped for breaching Rule 1.6 (which states "in any event, frequent use of such language must be avoided before the watershed"), the channel explained its editing is done very fast and fed live to a UK audience but the watchdog ruled that the use of such words was "not justified in context" and "prohibited before the watershed".
4. Bug drama (Series 16, 2019)
Last year's series was littered with complaints – around 51 to be precise – about the use of live and kicking bugs during various Bushtucker Trials.
Viewers were increasingly concerned about the use of living species as entertainment in eating trials but Ofcom rejected grounds to investigate because it was "in keeping with the well-established format of this reality series, and were unlikely to have exceeded the expectations of the audience".
5. Gillian McKeith "faints" (Series 10, 2010)
After being scared and unhappy with, well, just about everything, Gillian found herself nominated for her seventh consecutive trial, which also happened to be the live one, and appeared to faint just before the start.
Although Ofcom never actually did anything, some of the 50 complaints received about the broadcast were about Gillian's so-called "deception" and also the fact they'd voted for Gillian to do the live trial and she had been ruled out.
ITV soon confirmed that it would be refunding viewers who shelled out 50p (or multiples thereof) to vote for Gillian.
6. Beetles scrambling to escape a trial (Series 16, 2019)
Ofcom never actually revealed whether they received complaints for a particular trial that saw Adam Thomas and Martin Roberts cram live, squirming insects into their mouths but they definitely received a petition with almost 10,000 names asking the regulator to look at the use of animals in programmes.
The petition citedThe Island with Bear GryllsandI'm a Celebrityin its campaign but shot to prominence after this particular trial. But, as we know, Ofcom have previously dismissed all "cruelty" allegations deeming them "expected".
7. Gino D'Acampo kills a rat – Series 9, 2009
The 2009 winner and fellow contestant Stuart Manning were rapped by the RSPCA in New South Wales after they described on screen how they killed a rat for food.
The chef told theBush Telegraph: "I saw one of these rats running around. I got a knife, I got its throat, I picked it up..." which, unsurprisingly, didn't really sit well with viewers who contacted Ofcom, although it's unclear how many complaints were received.
While Ofcom decided not to investigate ITV, the channel were fined just under £1,700 by the RSPCA for not communicating the rules on killing rats and, well, the fact the animal was killed in the first place.
9. Martin Roberts "bullying" row (Series 16, 2019)
Viewers of last year's series were left outraged as they watched formerEastEndersandGavin and Staceyactor Larry Lamb repeatedly locked in a war of words withHomes Under the Hammer's Martin Roberts.
Fans of the show also blasted eventual winner Scarlett Moffatt and broadcaster Danny Baker for what they deemed to be "bullying" of the daytime television star.
8. Animal groups blast "stunts" (Series 17, 2019)
Although the number of complaints (if any) is unclear at the time of writing, animal groups including the RSPCA have urged viewers to complain to both ITV and Ofcom about the use of a camel during a task involving Amir Khan.
During the latest series, the boxer came face-to- face with a camel wearing a wig (named 'Donald Hump') – prompting outrage from the charity.
Ofcom would then decide whether to investigate the show but, meanwhile, viewers aren't holding back on social media and have blasted several tasks already this year.
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!is on ITV, daily around 9pm.
Video: 9 of i'm a celebrity's most complainedabout moments ever
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