EXCLUSIVE ‘The cruelty on this show towards animals is evident and continuous’: PETA call on Ant and Dec to QUIT I’m A Celebrity
- PETA shared an open letter to the presenters asking them to leave I’m A Celeb
- The animal rights group have long campaigned against the ‘cruel’ show
- An ITV spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We cannot stress enough that we have rigorous protocols in place to ensure that animals are handled safely at all times’
PETA have urged Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly to quit I’m A Celebrity as the show encourages ‘animal abuse’.
The animal rights group have long campaigned against the show accusing it of being ‘cruel’ and have now asked the hosts to step down and ‘send a message’ to viewers that ‘animal abuse is not entertainment.’
The show’s notorious Bushtucker trials – which sees celebrities locked in with live animals and forced to eat living creatures such as spiders, mealworms and cockroaches – has ignited fierce controversy over the years.
PETA’s Vice President of UK Programmes & Operations Elisa Allen told MailOnline: ‘I’m a Celeb producers are talking out of their hat. The cruelty on this show is evident and continuous.’
Step down: PETA have urged Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly to quit I’m A Celebrity as the show encourages ‘animal abuse’
She continued: ‘The public is well past believing these excuses – their eyes do not deceive them, and it’s clear that animals used for the show are subjected to extreme stress, fear, and trauma. There is simply no excuse for exploiting animals for entertainment, and it’s time for this needless abuse to end.
Writing in an open letter sent to the presenters on Thursday. they said ‘For too long, you have been complicit in cruelty to animals on the show, and it must end.’
They went on to state that ‘the longer you associate yourselves with this show, the more you send the message to viewers that you think animal abuse is not only acceptable but entertaining.
‘Leaving I’m A Celebrity would signal to the show’s producers that people aren’t going to stand for senseless cruelty to animals anymore and that it’s time to change.’
Peta finished by urging: ‘So please, hang up your hats and get yourselves out of there – for animals’ sake.’
Controversial: The show’s notorious Bushtucker trials – which sees celebrities locked in with live animals and forced to eat living creatures – has ignited fierce controversy over the years (Harry Redknapp pictured in 2018)
PETA’S OPEN LETTER IN FULL
Dear Ant and Dec,
I’m writing from People for the Ethical of Animals (PETA) to urge you to make the upcoming All Stars series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! your last.
For too long, you have been complicit in cruelty to animals on the show, and it must end.
Public attitudes towards the use of animals for entertainment have shifted considerably in recent years.
To date, over 50,000 supporters have signed PETA’s petition urging ITV to stop abusing animals on the show, and 10,000 people lodged complaints about the show’s treatment of animals with Ofcom last year.
It’s time to read the writing on the wall. For 20 years, you have been complicit in the “bushtucker trials”, standing by as animals of all descriptions are tormented – and even killed – for TV ratings.
In this time, you must surely have become aware of the suffering, discomfort, and fear that these unwilling participants endure during the challenges.
Ostriches, crocodiles, snakes, rats, and thousands of insects have been exploited for the show’s puerile pranks – and we fear that the upcoming series will be no different.
The public tune in to I’m a Celebrity in large part for your comedy sketches and the celebrity drama – not because they want to see sensitive animals suffer.
You know better than anyone that the producers could easily come up with clever and captivating tasks that harm no animals, so there is no reason to continue using the same tired formula.
The longer you associate yourselves with this show, the more you send the message to viewers that you think animal abuse is not only acceptable but also entertaining.
Leaving I’m a Celebrity would signal to the show’s producers that people aren’t going to stand for senseless cruelty to animals anymore and that it’s time to change.
So please, hang up your hats and get yourselves out of there – for animals’ sake. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Elisa Allen Vice President of Programme
A spokesperson for PETA explained: ‘Abusing animals no matter their shape or size should be banned in the entertainment industry.
‘And those who are involved, year after year, really should know better.’
‘That’s why this year, along with calling on the public to switch off the show, we’re also writing to Ant and Dec for the first time urging them to make the All Star season, which we believe has already been filmed, their last one.’
‘We’ll be asking them to step down from presenting the show. Because if they did… it would send a really strong message to the show’s producers that people aren’t going to stand for senseless animal cruelty anymore.’
Shocking: Writing in an open letter sent to the presenters on Thursday. they said ‘For too long, you have been complicit in cruelty to animals on the show, and it must end’ (Ferne McCann pictured in 2015)
Responding to the letter an I’m A Celebrity spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We are always fully transparent about our protocols and we have a very strict environmental plan in place on the show.
‘As a production, we comply with all regional and national laws concerning the use of insects, animals and reptiles.
‘Welfare and safety is always the primary priority on any of our programmes, and at any Bushtucker trial that features animals, we have qualified and experienced animal handlers on site at all times.
‘We inform the RSPCA NSW of all of our activities on the show and they have an open invitation to attend the site at any time.
‘We cannot stress enough that we have rigorous protocols in place to ensure that animals are handled safely at all times, before, during and after any filming has taken place, in compliance with all regional and national laws.’
Yikes! PETA have long campaigned against the show and boast a petition on their website titled Urge I’m a Celebrity to Stop Abusing Animals for Entertainment (Fatima Whitbread pictured in 2011)
PETA have long campaigned against the show and boast a petition on their website titled Urge I’m a Celebrity to Stop Abusing Animals for Entertainment.
Last year, Ant was accused of looking for ‘cheap laughs at the expense of animal welfare’ after he filmed an advert for the new series while sat on a small Shetland pony.
PETA also branded Ofcom ‘shameful’ In 2019 when I’m A Celebrity avoided a rap from the TV watchdog despite 80 people complaining about the use of live animals in the latest season.
When the series was moved to the UK during the Covid pandemic, British animal welfare series RSPCA also condemned the show.
Under fire: Last year, Ant was accused of looking for ‘cheap laughs at the expense of animal welfare’ after he filmed an advert for the new series while sat on a small Shetland pony
In a statement, they said: ‘Since I’m a Celebrity was first aired, animals have been dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, scared by contestants and prevented from escaping from stressful experiences.
‘There have also been incidents where animals have been killed for no other purpose than entertainment.
‘The show’s messaging and the potential to prompt people to try and copy the “Bushtucker Trials” at home for entertainment is also worrying and we feel that deliberately portraying certain species as nasty or frightening or as objects that can be used purely for entertainment rather than sentient, living creatures sends out totally the wrong message.’
Cast: (L-R) Mike Tindall, Owen Warner, Olivia Attwood, Charlene White, Boy George, Scarlette Douglas, Sue Cleaver, Chris Moyles, Babatúndé Aléshé and Jill Scott have been unveiled as the I’m A Celebrity 2022 lineup
I’m A Celebrity returns on Sunday November 6.
Leading this year’s lineup are rugby star Mike Tindall, 80s hitmaker Boy George, Love Island star Olivia and DJ Chris, with the stars donning their best jungle attire for first look snaps ahead of the show’s return on November 6.
Joining them will be Hollyoaks star Owen Warner, Loose Women’s Charlene White, A Place In The Sun presenter Scarlette Douglas, Coronation Street actress Sue Cleaver, comedian Babatúndé Aléshé and retired England Lioness Jill Scott.
It was revealed on Tuesday that Matt Hancock is also heading to the Australian jungle as a surprise late arrival.
Iconic: Once again, Ant and Dec will be hosting the series, and have already been spotted arriving on the Gold Coast to commence filming
The MP, who quit as Health Secretary after cheating on his wife during the pandemic with long-term aide Gina Coladangelo, will become the 12th celebrity heading Down Under.
After playing a central role in coordinating the government’s response to Covid, Mr Hancock’s political career has flagged of late, and last week he was snubbed by Rishi Sunak after the new PM dodged his attempt at a greeting outside Tory HQ.
He becomes the latest in a long list of political figures to try their luck on the ITV reality show, including MPs Nadine Dorries and Lembit Opik, and Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley
ITV bosses have confirmed to MailOnline that this year’s show, which returns to Australia for the first time in two years following the global pandemic on Sunday, will be the toughest ever for celebrities – with 24 trials to face in 21 shows.
I’M A CELEBRITY 2022: THE FULL LINEUP
CLAIM TO FAME: Legendary pop star
PHOBIAS: Being scared
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? No, I am going straight into the jungle from playing at various festivals and gigs
ROLE IN THE CAMP: In-house dietician reassuring everyone that they will be ok on the jungle diet. And entertainer – I will sing!
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I am a very positive person and I don’t bear any grudges
DREAM CAMPMATE: It would be funny if my ex, Jon Moss, comes on the programme -but I don’t think that will happen!
CLAIM TO FAME: Radio DJ
PHOBIAS: I am petrified of heights. I ended up carrying the bags when we took my girlfriend’s niece once to Go Ape as I am so petrified!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? A friend’s birthday, a wedding, and Leeds United matches
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Entertainer. Hopefully I can help shorten everyone’s boredom.
BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hiding food! I am going to fly out early and sneak into the jungle and hide pot noodles everywhere, then I will be everyone’s best friend!
DREAM CAMPMATE: Ant and Dec…let’s see how they cope for 24 hours!
CLAIM TO FAME: Playing Eileen Grimshaw in Coronation Street
PHOBIAS: Don’t be ridiculous! I am not going to admit to what I fear most!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? Coronation Street and we are expecting another grandchild any day, so hopefully it will arrive before I fly out to Australia.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I will be more of a mum – that is where I will naturally fit.
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I can cook and I am a good listener, so hopefully I will be a friendly ear for everyone.
DREAM CAMPMATE: Good Morning Britain’s Richard Arnold. He is my TV husband and it would be lovely to have an ally in camp!
CLAIM TO FAME: Presenter of A Place In The Sun
PHOBIAS: Spiders. There is no point in lying about it! I’ve got an irrational fear about them
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? Just a holiday which I can postpone
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum, cook and morale booster. I always like to look at the positive side in life
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I can cook and I will be good at making sure everything is tidy in camp
DREAM CAMPMATE: Mo Gilligan. He is hilarious and I totally fancy him!
CLAIM TO FAME: Comedian
PHOBIAS: I am scared of absolutely everything. Snakes, rats – I am fearful of them all and I am dreading the trials
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? I was going on tour but we’ve postponed it now until next year
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Tension breaker. If I can break tension anywhere it starts up in the camp, then I will do that. We don’t need to be bickering as it will be a first-time experience for everyone
BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hopefully I will bring some humour to the camp
DREAM CAMPMATE: I am a big Arsenal fan and so any ex-Arsenal player would be great. I am looking forward to chatting to Ant & Dec about football
CLAIM TO FAME: Rugby Union player and married to Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall
PHOBIAS: I haven’t admitted to having any phobias but in a weird way, I am looking forward to taking part in the trials!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? My podcast series and the rugby Internationals this autumn
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Morning motivator. I would like to see everyone get on well and us all have a great experience
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I am a positive person
DREAM CAMPMATE: Samuel L Jackson would be cool. He has lived the life!
CLAIM TO FAME: Playing Romeo Nightingale in Hollyoaks
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? I am a big fan of football so I will miss watching the start of the World Cup
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Entertainer and games coordinator
BEST ATTRIBUTE: It is definitely not my cooking skills or brains!
DREAM CAMPMATE: Any of the Leicester City starting 11!
CLAIM TO FAME: ITV newsreader and Loose Women anchor
PHOBIAS: I am not sure what my fear factor will be because I’ve never had rodents, spiders and snakes crawling all over me!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? My children’s annual school ball which I am gutted about
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum and cook. I don’t mind falling into that position
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I like to listen and talk. I love learning about people and I have a natural curiosity for people
DREAM CAMPMATE: Colin Murray and Richard Osman
CLAIM TO FAME: Retired England Lioness
PHOBIAS: I don’t like rats and the thought of being underground fills me with fear!
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? The Men’s World Cup. I am going to find it weird not being able to know how the men are getting on in the tournament. Hopefully they will still be in the tournament when I come out of the jungle
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Helping hand. I like to help people if they aren’t having a good day
BEST ATTRIBUTE: Hard worker. I will always find a way to add value. I am also very honest
DREAM CAMPMATE: Another sports person would be great as it would be someone to bounce ideas off.
CLAIM TO FAME: Love Island star
PHOBIAS: I hate the dark so I’m keen to avoid any challenges in the darkness
MISSING ANY BIG OCCASIONS? No, had the show been on air any later, I could have missed my sister’s wedding
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Clown. I was always the class clown at school and I love having a laugh
BEST ATTRIBUTE: I don’t take myself seriously and I have got a good sense of humour
DREAM CAMPMATE: A pop legend like Dolly Parton who has amazing stories to tell
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