I was sceptical about the non-live aspect, but I’m A Celebrity is as brilliant as ever and I’m already hooked!

25 Apr 2023, 10:39
25 Apr 2023, 10:40

I'm A Celebrity…, I'm A Celebrity… South Africa, ITV, TV Reviews

Like many I’m A Celeb fans, I was nervous when it was revealed the spin-off show in South Africa wouldn’t be filmed live.

The cast of celebrities – and hosts Ant and Dec – headed out to pre-record the series back in September. It was revealed there would be no public vote off, the Bushtucker Trials wouldn’t be decided by the viewers and we’d have no say in crowning the show’s first-ever Legend either.

So surely I’m A Celebrity… South Africa could never be as good as the series that have gone before, right? Wrong! I was super-sceptical about the fact the new season wouldn’t be going out live, but I needn’t have worried. One episode in and I think ITV has done a sterling job with what is undoubtedly one of the best shows on telly. And, even though it’s not live, it’s still as brilliant as ever – and I’m already hooked!

Paul Burrell hasn’t got any braver over the years! (Credit: ITV)

Live or not, I’m loving I’m A Celebrity… South Africa!

I really don’t care that it was filmed months ago, I’m A Celebrity is an hour or so of joyous TV and I’m going to suck the laughter out of each and every second of it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, when I heard they were doing an all-stars version and it would be pre-recorded, I was a little nervous that it would somehow take away some of the excitement of the show. I wasn’t alone in feeling that way, a lot of moaning Minnies on Twitter agreed with me.

Last night, a quick scroll through the hashtag saw a few “If it’s not live, I’m not watching!” comments. But, on the whole, much like myself, viewers were quickly won over.

Phil Tufnell was named King of the Jungle in series two of the show – will he be named as the first Legend? (Credit: ITV)

Thanks for not making me wait till November, ITV!

A lot of that is down to the mix of celebs who’ve entered the I’m A Celebrity… South Africa bush. And the fact that they have kept very tight-lipped about what actually happens during the course of the three-week show.

ITV sends journalists a highlights email at the start of every day, but we really don’t know much more than you when it comes to what’s going to happen that night – and we’ve no clue who the mystery latecomer celebs will be or who will ultimately win the show.

I’m hooked, and already counting down the hours till 9pm!

Last night I sat there for a full 90 minutes giggling my head off. I texted my mum and she was doing much the same. It’s such good telly, whether it’s live or not.

And to be entirely honest, I’m just glad that ITV hasn’t made me wait till November to hear those famous jungle drums. Although, much like the rest of the viewing public, I did feel an urge to go and get my Christmas tree out of the loft last night!

Amir Khan was one of the first campmates to enter last night (Credit: ITV)

Roll on 9pm!

I really do think ITV has played a blinder with this series, and I cannot wait to see how it progresses. Yes it’s different, but it feels fresh, and it still feels exciting. Anyone hating on it and not watching out of principle is just being silly. Tune in, it’s the most fun you can have sitting on your sofa!

Putting on a non-live series of I’m A Celebrity was a risk, but it’s one that’s paying off. I’m hooked, and already counting down the hours till 9pm…

I’m A Celeb South Africa is on tonight (April 25) at 9pm on ITV and ITVX.

Read more: I’m A Celebrity… South Africa’s Gillian McKeith sparks row over ’embarrassing’ behaviour?

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