'I'm A Celeb' return watched by almost 11m viewers in show's second biggest launch since 2013

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·2-min read
The logo for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV)
I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! is filmed in north Wales this year. (ITV)

Just under 11 million viewers tuned in to see the first episode of I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! 2020 – beating last year’s series launch.

The 20th series of the show hit screens on Sunday under slightly different circumstances from usual, with contestants setting up camp in Wales rather than the Australian jungle.

Opening with an average of 10.9 million across its slot from 9pm to 10.30pm, it peaked at 12 million, drawing the biggest audience for the show since the 2018 final, says ITV.

The change of scenery may account for the spike in figures, which ITV says also includes a record share of 16-34 viewers for the show with 77%, attracting an average of 2.7 million and peaking at 3 million.

Read more: Ant and Dec poke fun at I'm A Celeb's Hollie Arnold as she introduces herself as 'MBE'

In comparison, the opening episode of the 2019 series peaked at 11 million, with an initial 10.2 million viewers tuning in.

Vernon Kay, Beverley Callard, Sir Mo Farah CBE, Jessica Plummer, Shane Richie, Victoria Derbyshire, AJ Pritchard, Giovanna Fletcher, Hollie Arnold MBE and Jordan North in a promotional still for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV)
Vernon Kay, Beverley Callard, Sir Mo Farah CBE, Jessica Plummer, Shane Richie, Victoria Derbyshire, AJ Pritchard, Giovanna Fletcher, Hollie Arnold MBE and Jordan North in a promotional still for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV)

This year’s launch episode was the second biggest for the show since 2013 and the fifth biggest for the show ever.

It was also the fifth biggest programme on any channel so far this year (only beaten by the Queen's address and PM Boris Johnson's COVID-related statements).

Ant & Dec - I'm A Celebrity: A Jungle Story (ITV)
Ant & Dec (ITV)

Those who tuned in saw stars such as Vernon Kay, Sir Mo Farah, Victoria Derbyshire and Shane Richie confront cockroaches, crickets, mealworms and maggots.

The first episode of the new series showed bugs raining down on the celebrities while they completed a challenge to secure meals for the camp.

Read more: I'm A Celebrity 2020 line-up: All the confirmed stars taking part

Instead of the sunny climes of Australia, campmates are battling the elements of a north Wales winter as they take shelter at Gwrych Castle near Abergele.

I’m A Celeb continues on weeknights and Sundays at 9pm on ITV through to its final on Friday 4 December.

Watch: I’m A Celeb campmates explore new home