ITV I’m A Celebrity commits to 'going down different path' after new Ofcom rules

ITV's I'm A Celebrity is set to implement a new "ban" with new Ofcom rules after Nigel Farage and Matt Hancock's appearances. The ITV show is set to return in November, but the close timing to a General Election in the later half of 2024 means it's unlikely any MPs or former politicians will appear.

A source said: “It was already highly doubtful that another political type would be cast for I’m A Celeb after the backlash last time, particularly to Farage but also the kickback to Hancock. They also change up the playbook every year to keep things fresh.

"The timings of the General Election are just too much of a headache and it was the final straw. Of course, casting is in its early stages and never say never, but they are extremely unlikely to go down that road.”

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Ofcom broadcasting director Cristina Nicolotti Squires told the BBC’s Radio 4’s Media Show: “If broadcasters want to take the risk of having a high-profile politician who’s not standing for a seat hosting a programme, they’re going to have to work bloody hard to make sure that those programmes are duly impartial. And we will come down on them like a ton of bricks [if they aren’t].”

The source added: “Any Westminster-type will find it impossible not to stray into politics under questioning from fellow campmates and it would be nigh-on impossible to stay neutral on air. It’s a headache they don’t need to risk, especially as there are loads of celebrities who are not MPs that want to be on the show.

“Producers are really excited this year by some of the big names that have already shown interest.” So far Coronation Street star Alan Halsall has been linked to this year’s series. A spokesman for ITV said: “Any names suggested for I’m A Celebrity are speculation.”