Chris Packham sends angry letter to Ant and Dec begging for major I’m A Celebrity change
Posted by  badge Boss on Nov 28, 2023 - 12:25PM
Chris Packham is not happy with Ant and Dec (Picture: PA)

has written an open letter to I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’s presenters and about

The 62-year-old wildlife TV presenter and conservationist has stated that he’s tried to be polite about his demandsbut his patience has now ‘run thin.’

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, he shared his latest two-page letter which was intended to encourage the Geordie hosts to change the format of the series, which is filmed in Australia.

Part of the introduction read: ‘I’m A Celebrity remains a grotesque blot on the reputations of both yourselves and ITV.

‘Its continued exploitation of animals for entertainment is an anachronistic embarrassment and betrays a dangerous disconnect between a world increasingly concerned with an environmental crisis and a reckless and marginalised part of the media who doesn’t appear to give a s**t.’

He then claimed that RSPCA, who he is president for, have received 17,000 complaints about their ‘wilful abuse of animals.’

Chris asked Ant and Dec to reconsider the format (Picture: ITV)

I’m A Celebrity often uses animals in bushtucker trials, and this is something Chris disagrees with.

In the current series, Nigel Farage and Nella Rose sat down for a meal at the jungle pizzeria where they tucked into everything from scorpions to mealworms in order to win food for the camp, while Josie Gibson and Danielle Harold were covered in critters on last night’s episode. Snakes, rats, and crocodiles have all also been used throughout the 23 series.

His harsh words continued: ‘Without a fundamental respect for life, all life, it is difficult for those of us who care to bring enough people on board to initiate essential action to protect and actively restore the world’s wildlife.

‘I spend my life trying to engender that respect, your programme recklessly countermands that, and what’s absolutely pitiful, is that it does it for laughs. Just for amusement.’

He then asked if 20% of the world’s monitored species being threatened with extinction is funny.

Celebrities often eat animals in the trials (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

Dec, 48, who has young children Isla and Jack with wife Ali Astall was then directly addressed: ‘Declan, in 2019 I asked you to please think about how your daughter will perceive your actions as she grows into a world increasingly devoid of wildlife… What did she say?

‘That was four years ago, what is she saying now, aware I’m sure that her future is seriously imperilled by climate breakdown and biodiversity loss?’

Chris then suggested money motivates them to keep taking part in the series, and speculated that ‘the biggest single banker for ITV’ brings in £2 billion for the broadcaster. He also suggested that viewers need a ‘change of format’ as he claimed viewing figures are falling.

Animals are usually involved in the Bushtucker trials (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

‘Look at the world, listen to the voices of concern, read the writing on the wall,’ he warned.

To conclude the letter, Chris made suggestions as to how he believes the show can improve. He wants I’m A Celebrity to commit to ‘no more abuse of animals’ and instead air ‘an educational component which will celebrate wildlife.’ He also wants ITV to donate some of their profits from the series to conservation work.

ITV told ‘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 are 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.’

ITV inform the RSPCA NSW of all their activities on the show (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Chris’ letter comes after the Australian version of the series, which is filmed in South Africa made changes to the way they use animals.

New host Robert Irwin – the son of the late Steve Irwin – revealed: ‘I’m A Celebrity have vowed to cease all use of wildlife in the show. The entire consumptive use of wildlife is done.’

The 19-year-old, who will be replacing Dr Chris Brown and joining Julia Morris told Australian talk show The Project how they will change the famous eating trials.

Robert Irwin is proud to be part of the change (Picture: Instagram/Robert Irwin/ITV)

‘All the eating trials still continue, but it’s with sustainably farmed animals. They’ve got all bags to eat!’

He continued: ‘It’s a very important thing for me and I’m very proud of what we’re doing together to really hit home and lead by example with wildlife conservation in this new season.’ contacted Ant and Dec’s representatives for comment.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues tonight at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.