I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is one of the longest-running reality TV series ever created, and it remains up there with the most popular as well. This – along with Strictly Come Dancing – is the Holy Grail for Z-list celebrities who want to get back into the limelight and rejuvenate their careers. In doing so, it also provides viewers with hours of engaging and enjoyable entertainment. The show is still going strong in its 19th series thanks to a winning formula of quirky celebrities, much-loved presenters, and thrilling trials. It seems that this is one show which could be around for quite some time.
I’m a Celeb began in 2002 and has aired every year on ITV since then. There has been a mixed bag of celebrities on it, with some distinguished stars and a few minor faces. Some of the best-known winners have included former football manager Harry Redknapp in 2018 and ex-England cricketer Phil Tufnell in 2003. It has usually been presented by the much-loved duo of Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, apart from in 2018 when Holly Willoughby stepped in for Ant.
Ant and Dec have some serious pulling power for audiences, and their Saturday Night Takeaway show regularly attracts around 8 million viewers. Certain celebrity appearances on I’m a Celeb have helped to boost figures as well. In 2013, the show enjoyed its biggest ever opener, watched by 12 million viewers. This was the year in which Joey Essex stole the show with his antics, and Westlife star Kian Egan won the competition.
The success of the show hasn’t been solely down to the celebrities who have appeared in it, though. Indeed, many of the 11 million people who tuned in to the show last year continue to do so because they enjoy the format. The jungle setting in which the characters have to battle against their surroundings, make do with minimal rations and compete in various Bushtucker Trials make it highly compelling viewing.
The 19th edition of the series got underway in November 2019 and saw the return of Ant alongside Dec. Some of the stars involved with the series this year include the former Arsenal and England footballer Ian Wright, the former Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle, and the American former Olympic decathlete Caitlyn Jenner. Former EastEnders actress Jaqueline Jossa is the current favourite in the I’m a Celebrity betting to win the competition and can be backed at around 5/1 at the time of writing. The fact that there is betting available on the series shows how I’m a Celeb is also beneficial to other industries.
The format of I’m a Celeb has been transported to other countries, and this has helped contribute to the enduring success of the original series. There are offshoots of the show in Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, India, Romania, Sweden, and the United States. The German version is filmed in the same location as the UK edition, in Dungay, New South Wales, Australia. It has been going for nearly as long as well, with its first series occurring in 2004. Since 2011 it has aired every year and is scheduled to return again in 2020. The Australian version is filmed in the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Celebrities always seem to be ready and willing to put themselves through hell on the ITV production. And with viewing figures remaining high each year, it seems fair to assume that I’m a Celeb will be on television for a good while longer. It has earned its status as one of the best-loved reality TV shows on the planet.