Ofcom to probe I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! over Charlie Brooks' young daughter

 

TV watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation into I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! after the ITV1 show involved the young daughter of EastEnders star Charlie Brooks in a stunt.

The actress, who was later crowned queen of the jungle, was left heartbroken when she and her seven-year-old daughter missed out on seeing each other in a trial.

Brooks, 31, who plays Janine in the BBC1 soap, and darts ace Eric Bristow had to choose from a selection of doors that had treats behind them in this year's series of the jungle show.

The actress did not know that Kiki, who had not seen her mother for 18 days, was behind one of the doors in the challenge and missed out on the reunion after picking the wrong door.

Brooks later criticised the stunt and said it had been "heartbreaking".

"I signed up for this show, but Kiki didn't. I didn't want her to be so upset. I had no idea this was happening. It was my lowest point," she said.

"My mum gave the green light for her to be there because it was an opportunity for Kiki to see me - and I think she thought she would."

Viewers also complained, while campaign group Parents Outloud said: "To involve a seven-year-old is sinking to the bottom."

But a spokesman for the show said at the time that a senior producer had seen "Kiki afterwards and she was fine", adding: "Kiki and her grandma come to the jungle every day with the other friends and family, so the experience wasn't as out of the ordinary as it might look."

Ofcom, which received 66 complaints about the trial, will investigate whether ITV took due care to protect Kiki's welfare and whether the potential for offence caused by scenes of Brooks appearing distressed following the stunt were justified by the context.

Under the broadcasting code, due care must be taken over the physical and emotional welfare of under-18s irrespective of any consent given by a parent or guardian and under-18s must not be caused unnecessary distress or anxiety from their involvement in programmes.

Ofcom also announced that it was calling in several broadcasters to discuss the requirements in the code about featuring under-18s in programmes.

It warned that it will carry out spot checks to ensure that broadcasters are complying with the code.

It comes after the Line Of Duty ruling and as Ofcom launched an investigation into the ITV1 show I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!, for featuring Charlie Brooks' young daughter in a stunt.

Earlier this month, Ofcom launched a probe into a CBBC show presented by Dick and Dom after a young contestant was left retching as a result of an eating challenge.

During the programme, Dick And Dom's Hoopla, two competitors were seen attempting to swallow a stomach-churning combination of foods which had been blended together, including mayonnaise and apple sauce.

PA

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