Campmates on I'm A Celebrity… South Africa believe the series could turn into "World War 3" following the arrival of memorable former contestant Gillian McKeith.
More than four million viewers tuned in to the programme for its first episode on Monday and saw Scottish TV personality Gillian's surprise entrance at the end of the all-star show. Musician Shaun Ryder, who frequently argued with with her when they both competed on the original I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2010, was visibly shocked.
ITV said the programme also saw a peak audience of 4.9 million.
Last year’s launch of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! saw an average of audience of 9.1 million people tune in, according to overnight ratings provided by ITV – up by more than one million on 2021.
The show also secured a peak viewership of 10.3 million as the public expected former health secretary Matt Hancock, who entered the show after the premiere along with comedian Seann Walsh, to make an appearance.
On tonight's episode, the new spin-off series will see Gillian, 63, and Happy Mondays singer Shaun, 60, chosen to take on the first ‘Chest Challenge’ of the series in a bid to win a treat for camp.
After the reveal, Gillian says: "I have no idea how Shaun and I are going to get along."
Away from the two celebrities, former US supermodel Janice Dickinson discusses the pairing, claiming: "That could be World War 3!"
Meanwhile, former royal butler Paul Burrell asks Shaun about his relationship with Gillian, saying: "Is she as mad as a box of frogs?"
Shaun, who had previously called the TV presenter "a daft old bat" and said she would "try the patience of a saint" on his original run, replies: "Yeah… I nearly killed her."
In the Bush Telegraph, Shaun reflects: "I’ve been trying to be nice to her. I’m a different person, whatever, I don’t think Gillian was pleased to see me."
The latest episode also sees Geordie presenting duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly announcing the two campmates taking part in the first eating trial of the series.
Neither Janice, 68, nor Diversity dancer and radio DJ Jordan Banjo, 30, are keen on facing 10 dishes each worth a meal for camp.
Janice, who had her original run in 2007, responds to the news: "No, I ain’t doing it, mate. I can’t do it. Why did you choose me when you knew I couldn’t do it the last time? I’m no longer in love with you, Ant. I’m seriously in shock."
During a teaser clip for the trial, she's seen popping a fish eye in her mouth after Jordan tells her: "We thought we couldn’t before, we did."
Elsewhere, Shaun’s snoring disturbs another campmate and former professional boxer Amir Khan discusses his wedding which saw 4,000 guests when he married Faryal Makhdoom.
I’m A Celebrity… South Africa continues tonight on ITV1 and ITVX.
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