I’m A Celebrity: ITV to end ‘Bushtucker Trials’ that involve eating live bugs

Show has faced criticism by environmental and wildlife activists for scenes where contestants are shown eating live bugs and insects

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 16 November 2019 13:39
I'm A Celebrity: meet the 2019 celebrity campmates

ITV has reportedly scrapped the I’m a Celebrity trials that involve contestants eating live bugs.

The reality show had previously faced criticism for its use of live bugs for the “bushtucker trials” segment.

Certain tasks involve insects and bugs being eaten alive by contestants or being dumped on them as they try to complete other challenges.

An ITV source told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat that producers have now decided no live bugs will be eaten in the trials this series.

Stars may still have bugs dropped on them during filming for the show, which is set in Australia, but any the contestants have to eat will already be dead.

“They have been planning this for some time and actually last year beach worms were the only critters eaten live, but this time around they've decided to implement the change fully and permanently,” the source said.

Wildlife presenter Chris Packham a longtime critic of the trials, said he hoped the decision was “the start of some significant change”.

“What's long concerned me about the programme is that is portrays animals in the wrong way,” he said.

“There was never any ambiguity that eating live invertebrates was abuse and also exploitation for entertainment.”

I'm A Celebrity launches on Sunday 17 November at 9pm on ITV. Learn about the contestants taking part here.

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