Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! (2002-)

Courtesy of ITV Global Entertainment Ltd

Main image of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! (2002-)
Granada/LWT for ITV, tx. 25/8/2002 - present
7 series, colour
Production CompaniesGranada Television, LWT
ProducersMarty Benson
 Beth Dicks
 Chris Power
 Becca Walker

Presenters: Ant & Dec

Show full cast and credits

Celebrities compete to remain in the Australian jungle while being forced to undertake humiliating 'bushtucker trials'.

Show full synopsis

One of the key reasons for the success of Big Brother (Channel 4, 2000-) was that it allowed the British public to indulge in voyeurism and sadism on a grand scale. A relative latecomer to the reality TV genre, I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! achieved huge popularity by gleefully exploiting both tendencies. Not only was a group of well-known figures placed under 24-hour surveillance but they were also forced to humiliate themselves to an unprecedented degree.

The celebrities (initially eight, later twelve) are incarcerated in a clearing in what's described as "the Australian jungle", actually a semi-artificial construction near Queensland's Gold Coast. With minimal resources, they earned food by taking part in 'bushtucker trials', various challenging and/or disgusting tasks (many involving close proximity to or even eating the local wildlife) to retrieve a series of stars, each worth a single meal. The person performing the task is chosen by the viewers, who revealed their ruthlessness in the 2003 series when footballer John Fashanu (who had ill-advisedly confessed to having various phobias) was made to do six, many consecutively. Natalie Appleton (2005), Jan Leeming (2006) and Janice Dickinson (2007) were also regular bushtucker victims.

After the first week, the viewers are given the option of evicting contestants, with the last one remaining in the camp being crowned 'King of the Jungle'. Variations on the original formula were introduced in successive series, with some celebrities added at a later stage. Most series also saw at least one early exit, either for medical reasons or in frustration at being asked to perform too many bushtucker trials.

All this was presided over by Ant & Dec (Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly), who had already established themselves as ITV's biggest presenting draws, including their previous reality show Pop Idol (2001-3). They added to the general humiliation with near-constant mockery, fully aware that most of the celebrities were using the programme to attempt to revive flagging or fizzled careers.

An enormous ratings success (nearly half the viewing public watched the finals in 2003 and 2004), I'm A Celebrity was also controversial, highlighted by the then Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell as the epitome of "trash TV". Former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon swore during a peak-hours live broadcast, and there was a voting scandal over an eviction in series six (2007) - one of many that dogged ITV during this period.

Michael Brooke

Click titles to see or read more

Video Clips
1. Camp commander (2:40)
2. Bushtucker trial (5:30)
3. Larry the lizard (1:14)
4. The vote (3:00)
Complete episode - Part 1 (12:52)
Part 2 (15:24)
Part 3 (10:03)
Part 4 (8:46)
Street-Porter, Janet (1946-)