'I'm A Celebrity' won't use live critters in eating challenges anymore

The series will no longer feature live critters in the eating trials. (ITV)
The series will no longer feature live critters in the eating trials. (ITV)

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! is implementing one big change to Bushtucker Trials this year as they won't be using live critters in the eating challenges.

In previous years, celebrities have eaten live bugs but from this year onwards, only dead ones will be used.

A show source said: "No live critters will be eaten in the Bush Tucker Trials this year. Producers have been planning this for some time and have decided to implement the change fully and permanently."

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While beach worms were the only live creatures eaten last year no live critters will be included in this year’s series, which kicks off tomorrow.

Ant and Dec are returning to present the series. (ITV)
Ant and Dec are returning to present the series. (ITV)

Although live insects and animals will not be part of the eating tasks, viewers can still expect to see the famous faces being covered in them as part of other trials.

It comes as naturalist Chris Packham has been campaigning for the series to end using animals.

He's explained how he sends a letter to the programme every year over the "ongoing stereotyping" of animals.

This morning, the Springwatch presenter shared a letter addressed to presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly to "call upon [their] consciences" to "end the use of all animals" in the series.

He wrote in the letter posted to Twitter: "To say that exploiting animals for entertainment is a thing of the past in civilised societies in the 21st century should be a given."

After describing the use of animals in the competition as an "ugly anachronism", he told Donnelly to think about how his young daughter Isla "will perceive [his] actions as she grows into a world increasingly devoid of wildlife".

The presenters have not yet made a public response.

Meanwhile, another change has been made to the I'm A Celebrity camp this year following bushfires in New South Wales.

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ITV have confirmed there will be no campfire in light of the serious blazes, with a spokesperson saying: “In light of the current situation in Australia, I'm A Celebrity will not feature an open camp fire.

"Instead, campmates will cook their food and boil their water on a specially made gas stove.”