Nature presenter Chris Packham has accused I'm a Celebrity of "abusing animals" during his speech at the TV Choice Awards at the weekend. Speaking about the popular reality show while accepting an award on behalf of Blue Planet, he said: "I'm A Celebrity, can you please think about no longer abusing animals on your programme? Our oceans are full of plastic. The Amazon, the lungs of the world is on fire. We will be breathing toxic air on our way back home tonight. Toxic air that will kill thousands of people in our beloved capital. We have to make a change. Making changes takes courage."
Chris called out the show
Addressing an article that claimed he had been booed after his speech, he tweeted: "Oh dear, apparently I've been booed (?) at the @TVChoice awards for very politely requesting that @imacelebrity finally stop abusing wildlife on their programmes… I'll be losing sleep over that then." He also retweeted fellow TV presenter Megan McCubbin, who wrote: "Booed...? Funny, I don't remember that. There was quite a lot of support for sticking up for animals and trying to prevent animal abuse on @imacelebrity."
I'm a Celebrity bosses have previously responded to animal abuse claims
I'm a Celebrity was previously forced to pay a fine of £1,903 after Gino D'Acampo and Stuart Manning killed a rat for food in 2009. At the time, the Australian RSPCA chief inspector David Oshannessy said: "It's a reasonable result. It reflects the fact that all animals are protected by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The animal was killed for a TV show, that's not appropriate. The raw footage indicates that, from the first attempt, it took about 90 seconds before it actually died. The legislation says that an animal can be killed for human consumption provided it does not cause unnecessary suffering. Had it been killed and it was over and done with, we might not be having this conversation."
ITV responded to criticism about animal cruelty in 2017, with a spokesperson saying: "As a production, '’m A Celebrity complies with all regional and national laws concerning the use of insects, animals and reptiles. 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."