For a series that started off with such a feeling of apathy, things have certainly been heating up in the past few weeks. From scandal to scandal, accusation to accusation, I’m A Celebrity this year has turned itself round, and gone from being, in some people’s minds, pretty much the most boring series we’ve had so far, to being one of the most exciting.
However, while there has been plenty of drama in the last few weeks in the confines of the jungle, a lot of the show’s gossip, much to the chagrin of the ITV bosses, have come from outside the camp, as accusations of bullying and fixing have led to this series being one of the most infamous in history.
Times change, and what might have been acceptable to say to someone on shows like this five years ago, even, probably won’t fly anymore. And as such, show producers are feeling even more of the sweat of worry on their brow as fresh accusations of bullying have arisen regarding Iain Lee and, this time, Dennis Wise.
Bullying has been at the heart of the controversy that has surrounded this series as of late, as fans have slammed campmates like Rebekah Vardy and Jamie Lomas for their treatment of Iain, with some even calling for the wife of Jamie Vardy to be replaced as the ambassador for a mental health charity.
And now, after the fallout from the supposed bullying of Iain, the producers are locked in crisis talks over the future of another campmate, Dennis Wise, over his part in what people have claimed is the bullying of Iain Lee, who opened up to his fellow campmates about his struggles with mental health issues.
Earlier on today, Mirror Online revealed that the producers are currently undertaking crisis talks over the conduct of the ex-footballer, after viewers of the show took offence at the comments he made to Iain over the past few days.
According to the Mirror Online, I’m A Celeb bosses spent hours yesterday discussing whether or not Dennis should be removed from the camp.
A show insider spoke to The Mirror and said: “Producers have been holed up in meetings debating whether to reprimand Dennis or remove him altogether.
“They have a duty of care to all contestants they take very seriously.”
However, a representative for ITV have denied that there was any truth to what the source said.
The representative added: “The welfare of all our celebrities is of utmost importance and we’ve not witnessed nor had any complaints of bullying from any of them.”
This came after Dennis and Iain had strong words with one another after last night’s Tutankha-Doom challenge, for which they had both put their names forward.
Dennis said that he had a “problem” with the talkRADIO host undertaking the challenge because he didn’t trust that Iain could successfully do it – risking that the camp would go hungry if he could not grab all the stars.
“My only problem – and I’ll be honest with you, Iain – is that you’ve said ‘get me out of here’ twice and what I don’t want to do is we have no dinner and so….”
Iain interrupted and said: “OK, but I also got 11 stars on one.”
Dennis then told him: “I get that but you’ve also said ‘get me out of here’ twice; out of the three you’ve done you failed…”
Correcting him, Iain said: “No, I failed one of them, the other was a challenge.”
“If you come back with nothing everyone will be upset,” said Dennis.
In the end, Iain said that he would withdraw his name from the challenge, but he asked if that meant that he wouldn’t have to do any trials for the rest of the show, saying that it was “unfair.”
But Dennis hit back: “Well Iain, the problem is you’ve gone a couple of times and you’ve come back with nothing, so that causes me a slight issue.”
Later on in the Bush Telegraph, Iain explained just how the exchange with Dennis made him feel.
He said: “I feel significantly more confident than I did the other day so I was quite happy to stand my ground a bit, it did feel a bit humiliating having my list of failures kind of recited back to me.”
But Dennis was not backing down from his stance, as he addressed the camera and said: “People need to eat and people are hungry. If he doesn’t like my opinion, he doesn’t like it, but I have to say what I feel.”
Meanwhile, I’m A Celeb viewers have accused Jamie Lomas of lying to the campmates after the same challenge that caused all the troubles between Dennis and Iain.
Ahead of the trial, Geordie hosts Ant and Dec told the Hollyoaks actor that he had ten minutes to make his way through the tunnel full of creepy crawlies, with a total of eight stars to be won.
They explained that the first seven were for meals and the final eighth star was for a drink.
However, after the trial, Jamie had only captured six stars out of a possible eight.
Talking to Ant and Dec about the result, he said: “I might not tell them about the drink, otherwise they will just be disappointed.
“I might just keep that one to myself – it’s not a failure!”
While back at camp, he admitted: “I got six out of seven. I missed out on getting us a drink.
“You wouldn’t have managed it Iain, it was too narrow to get through. I managed to get them all for you.”
However, fans at home were not pleased at all with the way in which Jamie needlessly commented on Iain, as viewers at home called the remarks towards the radio host “unfair”.
Fans were also annoyed that he had lied to the camp – saying that he had managed to win six out of seven stars, and missing off the last one.
The drama continues tonight at 9pm.