UK broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has revealed that it has received over 700 complaints regarding the ongoing series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The hit ITV reality show has faced criticism in the past by animal rights activists for its use of live animals in bushtucker trials, and it seems the 20th series is no different.
After the first nine episodes of the series, which aired on Monday, 23 November, 724 complaints were lodged to Ofcom.
Episode two was the most complained-about so far, accruing 200 complaints by itself.
Ofcom have yet to confirm the exact nature of the complaints, although, with no major controversies having occurred, it stands to reason the use of live animals is the most likely explanation.
The animal welfare group noted that previous series have seen animals be “dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, scared by contestants and prevented from escaping from stressful experiences”.
Mo Farah takes part in I'm a Celebrity trial
In response to the statement, a spokesperson for the series said: "I'm a Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices.
“We have a long working relationship with the RSPCA in New South Wales, Australia and as such contacted their counterparts some months ago when we knew that the programme would be made in the UK, with a view to working collaboratively with them.”
It was recently revealed that the police were investigating whether I’m a Celebrity could be allowing insects to escape and harm the local countryside.
However, all species featured on the programme are non-invasive, and ITV has said that the bugs are “collected immediately after filming”, and were “purchased commercially within the UK”.
I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs nightly at 9pm on ITV