The launch of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! lost one million viewers compared to the first episode of 2018, it has been revealed.
A total of nearly 11 million people tuned in to Sunday’s episode, which saw Ant McPartlin reunite with co-host Declan Donnelly and stars including Caitlyn Jenner, Ian Wright and Kate Garraway enter the jungle.
The launch programme, which was broadcast over one hour and 45 minutes, peaked at 10.9 million viewers, according to ITV.
Last year’s launch show drew an average of 11 million viewers in the overnight ratings as Holly Willoughby joined Donnelly for hosting duties in Australia.
The This Morning host, who filled in while McPartlin stepped back from his TV commitments following a drink-driving arrest, proved to be a lucky charm for I’m A Celebrity, with the show enjoying its most-watched launch since 2013.
The ITV reality show’s biggest-ever overnight opener was in 2013, when 12 million people tuned in.
Sunday’s episode saw this year’s celebrity camp-mates – who also includes ex-Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle, radio DJ Roman Kemp, former rugby player James Haskell and ex-EastEnde Jacqueline Jossa – competing in a swimming race which determined how they would be paired up.
The duos then had to fight it out to become power pairs, who would not only have better living conditions in the jungle but would be able to decide the other celebrities’ fates in the first few days.
The group was divided, with some campers having to walk the plank 334ft in the air, and Jenner and Coyle doing a skydive from 10,000ft.
In an episode of Newsnight which aired on Saturday night, the Duke of York spoke out about his links with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and denied having sex with a teenager in 2001.
He said that he was at home after visiting a branch of Pizza Express with his daughter Beatrice on the night he was accused of having sex with Virginia Roberts-Giuffre and said he had no recollection of meeting her.
He said that Roberts-Giuffre’s description of him “profusely sweating” was incorrect as at the time he had a medical condition which meant that he could not sweat.
“I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time,” he told Maitlis, adding: “I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat.”
The presenting duo made reference to the Duke’s comments as they introduced the first challenge segment during Sunday night’s I’m A Celebrity launch episode.
After explaining what was in store for the reality TV hopefuls, Donnelly asked: “But will those celebrities be a. confident, b. excited or c. absolutely sweating?”
McPartlin then said “Presuming they can sweat,” prompting his presenting partner to respond with: “Not everybody can.”
I’m A Celebrity continues on ITV at 9pm.