I'm A Celeb: Most complained about moments as Nigel Farage sparks outrage already

With calls to boycott the 2023 series over Nigel Farage, which other I'm A Celebrity moments have had viewers complaining?

I'm A Celebrity's Nigel Farage wants to show everyone he's a nice guy (ITV)
I'm A Celebrity already has complaints over Nigel Farage. (ITV)

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! signing up Nigel Farage has sparked outrage in some camps, with claims of more than 1,000 complaints directed at the show before it has even begun.

The former UKIP leader had been rumoured for the cast for weeks, but as the ITV programme confirmed its list of campmates on Monday evening many were left questioning the decision to put divisive politician Farage into the cast.

Campaign group Best for Britain, who say they are "the researchers, data scientists, strategists, and activists, fixing the problems Britain faces after Brexit" are calling on viewers to boycott I'm A Celebrity when the series starts on Sunday night and claim 1,000 people have already sent complaints to the show via their form to contact hosts Ant and Dec.

The 2023 I'm A Celebrity cast. (ITV)
The 2023 I'm A Celebrity cast. (ITV)

Naomi Smith, CEO of Best for Britain, said: "While the thought of Farage mingling with other creepy-crawlies may seem appropriate, anything that normalises or amplifies his toxic views must be opposed.

"After a weekend that saw police injured at the hands of a far-right mob, and after years of his politics poisoning our society, we want the public to send a clear message to Ant and Dec, ITV and the media at large, that giving a divisive populist like Farage a nightly primetime platform is not good for our country."

Farage's signing for the show, rumoured to come with a paycheck of £1.5 million, has certainly riled up many, but I'm A Celebrity has experienced plenty of other widely complained about moments to Ofcom over the years.

Read more:

Gino D'Acampo kills and eats a rat

The chef overcame a camp cooking controversy to win. (ITV)
The chef overcame a camp cooking controversy to win. (ITV)

TV chef Gino D'Acampo got creative when hunger struck in the jungle in 2009, deciding along with campmate Stuart Manning to kill and eat a rat.

Although the exact number of complaints the show received isn't known, it is one of the most memorable moments in the show's history of concerns raised over the treatment of wildlife.

The court was told that the rat took a minute and a half to die after the campers stabbed it with a knife. ITV was fined by an Australian court for animal cruelty amid reports producers had okayed D'Acampo and Manning's request to kill the animal.

ITV were fined A$3,000 (£1,560) and ordered to pay A$2,500 (£1,300). D'Acampo was crowned King of the Jungle in that series.

Gillian McKeith's 'faint' - 50 complaints

Nutritionist Gillian McKeith was at the centre of the storm for one of the show's most controversial moments when she appeared to fake a faint during a live 2010 broadcast to get out of doing a challenge.

Complainants were split into two camps - those who were concerned about McKeith's welfare, and those who felt short changed after voting for her to take part in the trial.

Probably neither group were as disgruntled as McKeith's campmates, though, who had had their fill of her ducking out of trials and leaving them hungry.

Adam Thomas and Martin Roberts live bug challenge - 51 complaints, 10,000 signatures

I'm A Celeb complaints often hit a common theme of the show's treatment of bugs and animals, as flagged up every year by conservationist Chris Packham.

In 2016, PETA campaigners and some viewers were disgusted to see Adam Thomas and Martin Roberts challenged to hold live insects in their mouths, prompting a petition to ban the use of live creatures in the programme that garnered 10,000 signatures.

Viewers also made 51 complaints to Ofcom in the same year about Homes Under the Hammer star Roberts appearing to be bullied by his co-stars.

Charlie Brooks can't see her daughter - 66 complaints

One of the cruellest moments shown from the jungle saw EastEnders star Charlie Brooks' seven-year-old daughter Kiki brought into a trial in 2012.

Like many a parent in camp, Brooks was missing her daughter but had the chance to see her snatched away after failing a challenge.

Kiki knew that she could give her mum a hug if Brooks correctly chose which door she was standing behind - unfortunately, Brooks chose the wrong door and viewers complained about the show distressing a child.

James Haskell 'mocking disability' - 110 complaints

James Haskell is a former England rugby player (Credit: ITV)
James Haskell had a controversial time in camp. (ITV)

Former rugby player James Haskell got a number of people's backs up in the 2019 camp, for moments including his comments about his co-stars being "a circus of stupidity" when they took too long to answer a Dingo Dollar question.

But it was his remarks about ally Ian Wright that really got to viewers as he was accused of "mocking disability" while laughing at Wright running as he said: "Look at that clubfoot."

Animal welfare - 500 complaints

As the world went into lockdown in 2020, a trip Down Under for I'm A Celeb was off the cards - but despite being based at a Welsh castle rather than in the jungle, there were still plenty of animal welfare complaints.

The 2020 series drew some of the most Ofcom complaints of any season as viewers voiced their anger at scenes including Jordan North being locked up with a pit of snakes.

The RSPCA called on viewers to contact Ofcom demanding the show stop using live animals in trials, but an ITV spokesperson said: "I’m A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices."

Ferne McCann eating a live spider - 1,500 complaints

It's another animal welfare one...in 2015, viewers were appalled by Ferne McCann wolfing down a live spider in her eating trial.

Hosts Ant and Dec had advised McCann to frighten the spider into curling up by swilling it around in a glass of water to make it easier to eat.

Ofcom ruled that the moment was within keeping with what should be expected from the show, but it was a step too far for some viewers.

Matt Hancock arrives in camp - 2,000 complaints

Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock got the most complaints. (ITV)

I'm A Celebrity fans could barely believe what was happening when disgraced former health secretary Matt Hancock arrived as a late addition to the 2022 camp.

There were calls for a boycott of the show and the decision to make him a campmate was debated on many a news programme as people expressed their outrage over his Covid record and the fact that he was still a sitting MP.

Hancock's star role was not quite as explosive amongst his campmates as might have been expected, but it was the second most complained about TV moment of the year to Ofcom, as runner up to accusations of misogyny and bullying on Love Island.

It was also by far the most complained about moment of any I'm A Celeb series - whether Farage can break that record remains to be seen.

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! begins on ITV at 9pm on Sunday.