Steroids, rehab and cooking a rat: I’m a Celeb’s biggest controversies over the years
I’m still mad at Amir and Iain for eating those strawberries
I’m a Celeb never misses when it comes to providing the drama. I’m talking everything from Gillian McKeith’s fainting to Lady C’s refusal to do anything other than perch on a camp bed and spectate. Over the years we’ve seen romance, we’ve seen tears. But what we definitely are not short of, is controversies. It’s arguably the most entertaining show all year round. What other show else sees a mix of wildly different celebs compete both together and against each other for food? It’s carnage and I love it. So here’s a reminder of all the biggest I’m a Celeb controversies over the years.
Ant McPartlin missed a season while he was in rehab
One half of the dynamic duo was missing in 2018, when I’m a Celeb was missing Ant as one of the two presenters. Replaced by Holly Willoughby while Ant was in rehab, the show went ahead as usual and it was actually surprisingly fun to see a fresh face in the jungle. Although Ant returned in 2019 and has continued hosting the show since.
Spencer Matthews admitted he’s addicted to steroids
Back in 2015, some viewers will remember when the Made in Chelsea star was made to leave the jungle on day five after he admitted he was addicted to steroid pills, which he started taking for a charity boxing match. Although Spencer’s failure to come off the pills before the show started resulted in ITV taking him out of the jungle over safety reasons. He later clarified why he left in an apology, explaining that he found the decision “extremely hard to stomach.”
Gino D’Acampo cooked a rat and ate it
The millennials among us will remember when Gino D’Acampo and Hollyoaks star Stuart Manning cooked and ate a rat they found in the jungle. Despite being in a literal jungle, that’s not normal procedure and the pair later found themselves in trouble with animal rights activists and had to pay a fine. The rat clearly had the last laugh. But in Gino’s words “Everybody’s good, everybody’s good. Except the rat of course”.
Jack Maynard quit after allegations of slurs and inappropriate messages online
YouTuber Jack Maynard quit I’m a Celeb after just two short days in the jungle after multiple allegations came out against him. Jack was accused of sending racist and homophobic tweets, as well as asking a 14-year-old fan to send him nude pictures when he was 17.
After his exit from the show in 2017, Jack explained that he’d been removed in order to respond to allegations, and apologised for the inappropriate tweets and messages he described as “horrible” in a YouTube video he posted.
Gemma Collins left after she was thrown in Jungle Jail
Gemma once again proved to us all in true icon style that she doesn’t take any crap, whether that be in Essex or in the Australian jungle. After just a few days in camp of having to endure Jungle Jail and live off porridge, Gemma threw in the towel and took herself off home. And I can’t say I blame her.
She spoke about her living quarters and meals as being worse than what people behind real bars have to suffer, saying on the show “People who murder get treated better than this. That’s the truth. Even a murderer gets fed three times a day”.
Iain Lee and Amir Khan ate all the camp’s strawberries for themselves
This will forever go down in jungle history, with Amir Khan even admitting on the Private Parts podcast with Jamie Laing a few months ago that he still gets asked about the ordeal. Witnessing Amir and Iain scoff those strawbs when the rest of camp was starving back in 2017 was rough. Why didn’t they get thrown in Jungle Jail like Gemma?
Jacqueline Jossa threatened to quit after allegations about her husband cheating
Back in 2019, Jacqueline Jossa was crowned Queen of the I’m a Celeb jungle after putting an impressive shift in. But the show didn’t show scenes which reportedly saw Myles Stephenson telling Jacqueline about the allegations surrounding her husband Dan Osborne and Love Island’s Gabby Allen. It was reported that Jacqueline had threatened to quit the show but thankfully, she didn’t.
Gillian McKeith fainted after being nominated for her seventh Bushtucker Trial
Famous I’m a Celeb alumni for not once, but twice smuggling salt into camp in her knickers. Gillian is of course also for fainting when it was revealed she was nominated for her seventh Bushtucker Trial when she was on I’m a Celeb back in 2010. But she faced the music once more this year, going on the show’s first ever programme in South Africa.
Ferne McCann ate a live spider
One of I’m a Celeb’s more notorious controversies, Ferne’s eating trial is probably one of the most brutal Bushtucker Trials there ever was. She ate everything from a live water spider to a bull’s penis, resulting in many viewers feeling nauseous, or instead calling in to complain about animal cruelty. Even though that scene resulted in nearly 1,500 ofcom complaints, she still didn’t win.
Rebekah Vardy called the show a ‘fix’
Speaking about many scenes being not aired on the show, Rebekah Vardy called the show a “fix” following her feud with Iain Lee. She told The Sun at the time “It seems that so many scenes weren’t aired on the show.”
Nick Knowles made up a story about him and Biffy Clyro
Avid watchers of the show or big Nick Knowles fans will remember that back in 2018, he told his camp mates about a time he “jammed” on a rooftop with Biffy Clyro. It was later revealed that he actually made the whole thing up when the band’s drummer, Ben Johnson, told Radio 1 that it actually never happened.
“I’m really sorry to shatter the illusion everyone has that we had a proper heavy jam with Nick Knowles because that didn’t happen I’m afraid”. He’s clearly just a big fan.
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