The inclusion of right-wing firebrand politician Nigel Farage and Jamie Lynn Spears in this year’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! failed to spark gangbuster ratings for last night’s launch episode, although you wouldn’t think so reading GB News producer Ben Leo’s X timeline.
Leo, who is in Australia covering the show featuring GB News presenter Farage, tweeted this morning that the series opener had been watched by 9.1 million people and a peak of 10.3 million. The figure is in fact 7 million and 7.8 million respectively – I’m a Celeb’s lowest for several years. Leo appears to have been confusing last night’s ratings with 2022’s and hasn’t yet taken his tweet down, which led with “FARAGE SPARKS BOMBSHELL RATINGS.”
Farage’s inclusion mirrored last year’s decision to sign up former Health Secretary Matt Hancock and ITV had been hoping the former UKIP leader, who hosts one of GB News’ most-watched shows, would bring in the viewers for the Ant and Dec-hosted returner.
Another big get was Lynn Spears, the sister of Britney Spears who also stars in Netflix series Sweet Magnolias. Other contestants on the two-decades old ITV smash include First Dates host Fred Sirieix and former Big Brother winner Josie Gibson.
Produced by ITV Studios-backed Lifted Entertainment, the show will run nightly for the next three weeks and remains a late-year juggernaut for ITV despite the opener’s lower return. According to Barb data supplied by overnights.tv, last night’s rating was still ITV’s most-watched episode since the 2022 launch ep and its top-viewed with the crucial 16-34 year old demographic. It made light work of the launch of BBC One drama Boat Story, which was watched by 2 million.
FARAGE SPARKS BOMBSHELL RATINGS
ITV say last night’s I’m A Celebrity opener returned a massive peak audience of 10.3 million, with a total of 9.1m TV watching the launch show – making it ITV’s highest rating of the year, and up by over 1 million viewers on last year’s launch. pic.twitter.com/P5neratLCs
— Ben Leo (@benleo444) November 20, 2023