I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! returned last night with a peak of 10.3 million viewers, giving bosses plenty of reasons to celebrate.
Broadcaster ITV has hailed Sunday’s launch episode as ‘the biggest TV overnight of the year outside of national and sporting event’ as well as the ‘biggest entertainment launch on any channel this year’, and that’s before Matt Hancock has even joined the other campers.
Helped by the huge peak audience, I’m A Celebrity’s return to Australia pulled in an average of 9.1 million TV viewers for the launch, which is up by over one million compared to last year’s launch despite the 2021 edition having a peak over 12 million.
In a press release, ITV added: ‘It is ITV’s biggest overnight audience since last year’s Euros and the biggest programme launch on any channel this year, excluding national and sporting events.’
There’s also good news for the show – which is hosted by Ant and Dec – in the 16 to 34 demographic, with two million tuning in to give the show ‘the biggest 16-34 audience of the year, across any programme or channel’.
Impressive, and bosses are sure to be delighted by the improvement this time round after a couple of years based in Gwrych Castle during the Covid pandemic.
Last year’s launch had an average of eight million viewers, which was the lowest for more than a decade, while the finale pulled in 7.1 million, which was five million fewer than the previous series.
On Sunday night, Ant and Dec welcomed the celebrities, which included the likes of Coronation Street’s Sue Cleaver, 80s superstar Boy George, and Hollyoaks’ Owen Warner.
Olivia Attwood was appointed the Jungle VIP and appointed radio DJ Chris Moyles as her plus one, as they got a meal of dreams including a centrepiece filled with mixed fruits and shrimp.
Boy George was chosen by the public to be a Jungle VIP, selecting A Place In The Sun presenter Scarlette Douglas as his plus one on a luxury yacht, before the quartet found themselves isolated on an island.
In a teaser for tonight’s episode, radio DJ Chris can be seen sporting goggles and a hard hat, lying down in a chamber which starts to fill up with cold water.
Boy George is in a similar position but seems relatively calm, while Olivia and Scarlette try to unscrew pipe fittings in small wall openings which end up being surrounded by worms.
Unfortunately, this will mark the first and last trial for Love Island star Olivia, who has been forced to leave on medical grounds as a ‘precautionary measure’.
A spokesperson said in a statement: ‘As a precautionary measure Olivia needed to leave the jungle to undergo some medical checks. Unfortunately the medical team has advised it is not safe for Olivia to return to camp as there needs to be a further investigation.’
They added to PA: ‘She has been absolutely brilliant and she’ll be very much missed on the show.’
I’m A Celebrity continues tonight at 9pm on ITV.