I’m a Celebrity: Troubled show will go on, insist chiefs

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  • Richard Madeley
    British television presenter
Madeley, 65, was taken ill after sliding headfirst into a sewer of rotten food (ITV)
Madeley, 65, was taken ill after sliding headfirst into a sewer of rotten food (ITV)

ITV bosses have insisted its flagship I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! show will go on despite sick contestants and the Welsh weather causing havoc.

The show was dealt a blow when Richard Madeley, one of the early favourites to win, had to leave after being taken to hospital.

There are fears he could be followed by other early exits, with health concerns about Dame Arlene Phillips, 78, who is on painkillers, and music producer Naughty Boy who is receiving counselling because of worries about the health of his mother who suffers from dementia.

Both are said to be struggling with the cold and lack of decent food on the show, which is being filmed at Gwrych Castle in North Wales.

Producers fear the arrival of 85mph Storm Arwen could exacerbate the problems. The hit show pulls in millions of viewers for the channel but producers did not organise any reserve celebrities this year so there is no-one to come in if others have to leave.

Madeley, 65, was taken ill after sliding headfirst into a sewer of rotten food during a task and though he was given a clean bill of health, he could not rejoin his fellow contestants because he had broken the show’s Covid safety bubble.

The broadcaster, who is now back home with his family, said he was “gutted” to leave but was looking forward to watching the show “somewhere a little warmer than Gwrych Castle”.

Daughter Chloe said he was “fine” and posted a picture of a McDonald’s meal with the caption “he’s home”. The show moved from Australia last year due to the pandemic.

An ITV spokesman said: “Our strict Covid protocols mean Richard has sadly had to leave as he is no longer in the bubble the celebrities form when entering the castle. He has been a truly brilliant campmate and we thank him for being part of this series.”

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