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I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

From Academic Kids

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! is a reality television show in which minor celebrities live in jungle conditions with few creature comforts. A fourth series of the show, which is set in Australia, aired on ITV1 in the United Kingdom late in 2004. ABC aired one series of an American version in February and March 2003. Two series have also been aired in Germany - entitled Ich bin ein Star - Holt mich hier raus. The UK show is hosted by Ant and Dec. In the US John Lehr presents proceedings, the German hosts are Dirk Bach and Sonja Zietlow.

Contents

Format

In return for their appearance on the show the celebrities are asked to nominate a charity to which the producers, Granada Television, make donations. The celebrities themselves are also paid a fee (reported to be £25,000 for UK competitors) to compensate them for possible loss of earnings while they are in the jungle. The producers of the show keep the precise details of the celebrities' contracts very private, prompting much speculation from the tabloid media. The money is raised by allowing viewers to vote by phone, text message or the red button for the celebrity they would like to complete a "Bushtucker Trial" - a physical task usually involving snakes, spiders or other creepy-crawlies found in the jungle - and, later in each series, to vote for the celebrity they would like to see evicted from the show. The last remaining celebrity after all others have been evicted is the winner of the show.

Winners of the show include Tony Blackburn, Phil Tufnell, Kerry McFadden, Joe Pasquale (UK), Cris Judd (US) and Costa Cordalis and Désirée Nick (Germany).

Popularity and criticism

The show is undoubtedly popular, at least within the UK. The finales of the second and third series were seen by 12.5 and 15.3 million people respectively - well over half of all people watching television in the country at the time of day in both cases. The show also helped singer Peter Andre resurrect his music career in 2004. However, it has come under fire from some critics on two counts:

  • The first complaint is that the show is trashy TV, consisting of has-been or never-were celebrities trying to revive their careers. The UK's Secretary of State for Culture at the time, Tessa Jowell, was the most high-profile person to criticise the show. In an interview with the Financial Times during the second British series, she said, "If they weren't mostly - save their blushes - has-been celebrities, there might be more interest [...] I think that if we saw many more programming hours taken over by reality TV, I hope you'd begin to see a viewers' revolt."
  • The second criticism of the show is that it pretends to be more wild than it actually is. Audiences are left with the impression that the celebrities are in the Australian Outback far from any major settlement whereas they are close to a luxury hotel. Further, the camp site in which the celebrities stay appears to be open to the elements but is largely covered by sheets above the view of the cameras. In an episode of the British show, a celebrity had to swim in a swamp apparently infested with crocodiles. Marksmen were shown ready to shoot the animals if they attacked. It was later revealed that the crocodiles were man-made and moved by remote control.

List of participants

UK series 1

(8 contestants, Monday August 25, 2002 - Sunday September 8, 2002)

UK series 2

(10 contestants, Monday April 29, 2003 - Monday May 12, 2003)

UK series 3

(10 contestants, Monday January 26, 2004 - Monday February 9, 2004)

UK series 4

(11 contestants, Sunday November 21, 2004 - Monday December 6, 2004)

US series 1

(10 contestants)

German series 1

(10 contestants)

German series 2

External links

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