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I'm a Celebrity: real jungle life revealed from man-made rocks to energy drinks and vegan menus

Not everything you see in the Outback is real…

im a celebrity campmates
Jenni McKnight
Jenni McKnightUS Lifestyle Editor
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The 2019 series of I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! is well underway, with just over one week left until there's a new King or Queen of the jungle crowned. But believe it or not, what you see on your TV screens each evening isn't actually the whole story of how the celebrities survive amongst the critters. There's a huge crew of people working behind-the-scenes to make sure everything runs like clockwork for your viewing pleasure. So exactly what happens when the cameras aren't rolling? Keep reading to find out…

Is I'm a Celebrity filmed in a jungle?

ant dec© Photo: ITV

Ant and Dec have hosted the show since series one

While the set may look like an overrun jungle, it's actually based in Murwillumbah in New South Wales and is filmed inside Springbrook National Park. This has been the primary location since 2003 after filming was moved from Cairns, Queensland, following series one of the show. In fact, many aspects of the 'jungle' surroundings aren't actually real. The waterfall and pool beneath it are man-made, and according to previous contestant, the late David Guest, the boulders around the camp were actually hollow and appeared to have been made from papier-mache. There's also a retractable canopy 50ft up in the air that protects the campfire during random spots of torrential downpour. Although storms are known to have hit the camp in the past and celebrities aren't always kept under cover.

Are the insects and critters real on I'm a Celebrity?

Of course they are! While this year the show opted against using live bugs and critters in the eating trials, all the insects and animals you see around camp are 100 per cent real. But what may surprise you, is that they are all brought in from a creepy crawlies breeding factory instead of just collected from the surroundings.

What do I'm a Celebrity contestants eat?

im a celebrity eating© Photo: ITV

Celebrities aren't secretly treated to slap-up meals

If the celebrities aren't lucky enough to fill up on fermented egg or cow's tongue – joke – they really do have a diet of rice and beans, unless of course, food is won for the camp during trials. But even then, the celebs are served up some unusual offerings including wallaby arms, ostrich egg, and crocodile feet! And should a campmate feel like the hunger is getting too much for them, they're not exactly offered a three-course meal. "There’s been a couple that have had a few dizzy spells and we’ve given them some electrolyte drinks and some glucose," the shows Medic Bob told the Mirror in 2017. "If you could see how much rice and beans they get per person, per day, I think you’d be quite shocked. The little bit of rice is quite tiny and the little bit of beans is quite tiny."

MORE: A look back at Kate Garraway's wedding to Derek Draper

What happens if a campmate is vegetarian or vegan?

Many celebs who enter the jungle without a taste for meat, fortunately, aren't left to go hungry. In 2017's series, vegan Shappi Khorsandi was given specialist vegan food packages after she attempted to eat meat during her stay but suffered an adverse reaction to the meal. She said at the time: "I had meat, and I was really, really physically sick, five times in one hour. It was horrible." Contestants have reportedly been known to press pause on their meat-free diets though; in the 2018 series vegetarian James McVey, and vegan Fleur East were accused of eating meat on the show. According to reports, Fleur shelved veganism to fully embrace jungle life. Should that not be an option though, meat dishes are substituted with tofu.

im a celeb medic bob© Photo: ITV

Medic Bob admitted the food situation is pretty scarce 

MORE: Holly Willoughby's staggering I'm A Celebrity salary revealed

How are contestants picked for I'm a Celebrity?

As soon as a series finishes, producers are hard at work choosing the next lot of celebrities they believe will make perfect campmates the following year. Speaking at a BAFTA Masterclass earlier this year, I’m a Celeb’s creative director Richard Cowles explained: "We come back, we have a meeting with who controls the network and we talk about what we liked and what we didn’t like and then [celebrity producer] Micky [Van Praag] starts casting for this year. It's a machine that never stops."

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