I'm A Celebrity debuts first-ever Welsh series with average of 10.6m

I’m A Celebrity debuts first-ever Welsh series with an average of 10.6 million viewers (which is still less than when Holly Willoughby hosted the show)

The 20th series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! launched with an average of 10.6 million viewers (and a peak of 12 million) tuning in to ITV for Sunday night’s season premiere.

The show marked the first time fans got to see Ant and Dec host the series from Wales, after COVID-19 stopped international travel to the usual location, Australia.

Yet Holly Willougby’s debut on the show two years ago, when Ant McPartlin took the year off to recover from personal issues, still garnered a higher viewership, raking in 11 million fans at the end of November 2018.

Big numbers: The 20th series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! launched with an average of 10.6 million viewers (and a peak of 12 million) tuning in to ITV for Sunday night’s season premiere

This also happened to be the show’s highest ever recorded viewership, and remains unbeaten.

Yet Sunday night’s season opener neared similar numbers, averaging 10.9 million across its slot from 9PM – 10:40PM.

This is the most viewers the show has garnered since the 2018 final – also the year Holly co-hosted with Declan Donnelly.

It’s also the second biggest launch for the show since 2013 and the fifth biggest launch episode for the show ever.

Two years later: Yet Holly Willougby’s debut on the show two years ago, when Ant McPartlin took the year off to recover from personal issues, still garnered a higher viewership, raking in 11 million fans at the end of November 2018

New look: The show marked the first time fans got to see Ant and Dec host the series from Wales, after COVID-19 stopped international travel to the usual location, Australia

The show was the fifth biggest programme on any channel so far this year.

The only broadcasts to beat this have been related to the COVID-19 crisis – the Queen’s Address and the prime minister’s statements on the pandemic. 

Outside of news programmes, it is the biggest overnight audience on any channel since the Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special on BBC One last year.

According to ITV, it drew I’m A Celebrity’s biggest ever share of 16-34 viewers with 77 per cent – which is also the biggest share for this demographic on any channel so far this year.

This comes after bosses at the show are reportedly making emergency plans to stop stormy weather from throwing the show into chaos.

Bulletins: The only broadcasts to beat this have been related to the COVID-19 crisis – such as the Queen’s Address

Crisis: The prime minister’s statements on the pandemic also garnered high ratings this year

Producers had already prepared for bad conditions in Wales but, according to The Sun, the crew have found the weather ‘far worse than expected’.

Gwrych Castle, where the celebrities are staying, is already said to have been battered with 50mph winds and heavy rain, with more forecast later this week.

The publication reports that a temporary canopy was set up over the main site but proved to be inadequate when filming began.

Further back up plans are now being quickly drawn up which are said to include a separate place to relocate the celebrities if the weather becomes too harsh. 

A source said: ‘We knew it could be wet, but hadn’t really planned for anything like this. The crew don’t even want to leave their cabins. It’s completely bleak and we’re having to step up our contingency plans.

Harsh: I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! bosses are reportedly making emergency plans to stop stormy weather from throwing the show into chaos

Storms: Producers had already prepared for bad conditions in Wales but, according to The Sun, the crew have found the weather ‘far worse than expected’

‘Now, if things start to become too much to cope with, there is a place off camera where they can temporarily move the celebrities if filming just becomes impossible.

‘It’s already clear the canopy over the camp is going to struggle to keep the elements out, and a lot of the trials and other parts of the show are due to be shot outside anyway so the campmates are going to get completely soaked.’

The source added the celebrities have been given waterproof clothing and if needed, they will be temporarily taken off camp to dry off. 

A representative for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! told MailOnline: ‘We have contingency plans to cover all eventualities where the weather is concerned.’

It comes after a report that bosses had to spend a weekend in early October drying out Gwrych Castle after it became flooded with rain.

A source told The Sun: ‘The crew are working around the clock as it is. But because of the dreadful weather they spent much of the weekend trying to remove standing water from areas of the building. 

Harsh: Gwrych Castle, where the celebrities are staying, is already said to have been battered with 50mph winds and heavy rain, with more forecast later this week

‘They’re now trying to work out a way to make sure that, if there’s bad weather when the show airs in November, it doesn’t affect filming.

The source added that the torrential rainfall has turned into a ‘headache’ for the crew trying to get the castle ready in time for the celebrities to move in. 

This year’s I’m A Celebrity is the first series to ever take place in the UK as the show was unable to go to Australia amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were quick to reference the show’s new home by greeting fans in Welsh, and joked that even ‘the helicopters were socially-distanced’ in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Back up: Further back up plans are now being quickly drawn up which are said to include a separate place to relocate the celebrities if the weather becomes too harsh

The opening show saw celebrities including Vernon Kay, Beverley Callard and Mo Farah face a gruelling challenge as they journeyed into the castle, before taking on their first ever trial Gates From Hell.

The contestants will sleep on rusty old beds, covered by a newly installed plastic roof, with only the campfire located inside the adjoining living quarters providing any heat.

ITV announced an extreme COVID Management Plan to ensure the series runs smoothly, including the celebrities being tested every three days and crew members wearing proximity buzzers, wear masks and get temperature checks on arrival.

The celebrities had been isolating for two weeks ahead of their arrival.

Source: Read Full Article