First UK-based I’m A Celebrity series launches to 11m viewers

The new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! launched to an average of 10.9 million viewers, drawing the biggest audience for the show since the 2018 final, ITV has said.

The debut episode of the 20th series, which is being filmed in Wales instead of Australia because of the coronavirus pandemic, gave the channel an audience share of 51.9%, with a peak audience of 12 million viewers.

It was the second biggest launch for the show since 2013, ITV added.

The return of the series saw this year’s cohort of stars confront cockroaches, crickets, mealworms and maggots.

The first episode of the new series showed the bugs raining down on the celebrities while they completed a challenge to secure meals for the camp.

The contestants were placed into separate cages as they had to transfer stars from one side of the group to the other while they were surrounded by the insects.

They were tasked with passing 10 stars from one side to the other and managed to succeed with seven of them.

TV presenter Vernon Kay, athlete Sir Mo Farah, journalist Victoria Derbyshire and actor Shane Richie are among this year’s celebrities.

The episode also saw the group completing an abseiling challenge in order to get rucksacks containing kit.

I’m A Celebrity continues on weeknights and Sundays at 9pm on ITV.