I'm A Celebrity 2013 debut attracts record ratings of 11.9 million

Half of Sunday night's TV audience watched the celebrities enter the jungle

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The Independent Culture

Almost 12 million people tuned in to watch the launch of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! on Sunday, the second-highest live overnight audience of 2013 after Andy Murray's Wimbledon win in July.

An average 11.9 million viewers watched this year's first episode, beating the show's previous highest opening of 11.7 million in 2011.

A peak audience of 12.9 million watched the show on Sunday, attracting 48 per cent of all television viewers.

The I'm A Celebrity debut is the second-highest rated live overnight TV showing this year, after 12.09 million tennis fans tuned in to watch Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final in June.

I'm A Celebrity achieved its peak audience in 2004, when 14.9 million viewers saw comedian Joe Pasquale crowned king of the jungle in the final episode.

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington, Westlife singer Kian Egan and EastEnders' Laila Morse were among the celebrity contestants to enter the jungle on Sunday.

The famous (and not so famous) faces will camp out in the wilderness until the beginning of December.

Contestants will undergo infamous 'bushtucker trials' to win meals, with The Only Way Is Essex star Joey Essex and presenter Matthew Wright eating turkey testicles and ostrich penis on last night's show.