Chris Packham wrote a letter to Ant and Dec, accusing them of being a celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! exploitation of animals.
In the missive, released the (formerly Twitter), he says this is not the first time he has attempted to engage with the show’s presenters about animal welfare standards on the reality show, but that his previous attempts ” polite, reasonable and constructive” were ignored, so “this time I will be a little more frank and direct”.
“I’m a celebrity… Get me out of here!” remains a grotesque stain on your reputation and that of ITV,” Packham wrote. “Its continued exploitation of animals for entertainment is an anachronistic embarrassment and betrays a dangerous divide between a world increasingly concerned about an environmental crisis and a reckless portion of the media that doesn’t seem to care.”
Packham claims his letter – which has been viewed 1.3 million times on received 17,000 complaints about the treatment of animals on the show. He says he and many RSPCA followers are “fed up with your perceived disregard for animal welfare and how we feel about it”.
According to Packham, I’m a Celebrity…undermines the “fundamental respect for life” that is necessary to convince people to act on the climate crisis.
“What is absolutely pitiful is that he does this for a laugh. Just for fun. Twenty-eight percent of species monitored worldwide are threatened with extinction. Is it funny? Is it laughter?
The wildlife TV channel also claimed viewing figures suggested “your viewers may need a format change”, due to I’m a Celebrity… audiences falling from a peak from 10 million in November 2022 to a peak of 7.8 million this year.
“Look at the world, listen to the voices of concern, read the writing on the wall. The circuses have disappeared, the dancing bears have disappeared, cock and dog fights are the sad preserve of psychopathic criminals. We don’t have any performing dolphins in the UK or chimpanzees dressed for tea time,” he said. “The cruel exploitation of wildlife for free entertainment on your program continues to damage the UK’s sterling reputation as an ‘animal-loving nation’.
Instead of continuing the reality show’s “animal abuse”, Packham suggests the program donates a percentage of profits to conservation charities, highlights their work and that Ant and Dec present a show on the subject. “I’ll lend you my binoculars,” the environmentalist said.
A spokesperson for I’m a Celebrity… responded by saying they follow all laws regarding the use of animals and have a strict environmental plan in place. “Welfare and safety are always the top priority of each of our programs, and during any bushtucker trial involving animals, we have qualified and experienced animal handlers on site at all times,” they said. commented.
“We inform the RSPCA NSW of all our activities at the show and they have an open invitation to visit the site at any time. We cannot emphasize enough that we have rigorous protocols in place to ensure that animals are handled safely at all times, before, during and after any filming, in compliance with all regional and national laws.