I'm A Celebrity: animal cruelty claims after cockroaches crushed

I’m A Celebrity has come under fire after Andrew Maxwell crushed dozens of cockroaches to death during Wednesday’s Bushtucker Trial. 

Viewers slammed the ITV show after the comedian was left with remnants of the bugs stuck to his hands, neck and face. 

Charities, meanwhile, branded the show’s exploitation of animals ‘tired, tacky and moronic’ and said there would be ‘mass public outcry and disgust’ if the animals harmed had been cute or domesticated.

Cruel? I'm A Celebrity has come under fire after contestants crushed dozens of cockroaches during Wednesday's Bushtucker Trial

Cruel? I’m A Celebrity has come under fire after contestants crushed dozens of cockroaches during Wednesday’s Bushtucker Trial

Viewers took to Twitter in disgust as they watched Andrew, 44, had hundreds upon hundreds of cockroaches poured onto his head which was engulfed in a giant perspex helmet. 

As he fought to keep the bugs off him, many were crushed to death on the side of the perspex, while his hands were also covered in bits of dead bugs. 

After he finished the task, one cockroach was removed from his ear, while the debris from other dead bugs could clearly be seen stuck to his neck. 

Uncomfortable viewing: Viewers slammed the ITV show after comedian Andrew Maxwell was left with remnants of the bugs stuck to his hands, neck and face

Uncomfortable viewing: Viewers slammed the ITV show after comedian Andrew Maxwell was left with remnants of the bugs stuck to his hands, neck and face

Shocked: Viewers took to Twitter in disgust as they watched Andrew, 44, had hundreds upon hundreds of cockroaches poured into a giant perspex helmet

Shocked: Viewers took to Twitter in disgust as they watched Andrew, 44, had hundreds upon hundreds of cockroaches poured into a giant perspex helmet

Hitting out: One fan of the show complained: 'I'm A Celeb needs to actually tone down you know that was so uncomfortable to watch that many cockroaches was unnecessary'

Hitting out: One fan of the show complained: ‘I’m A Celeb needs to actually tone down you know that was so uncomfortable to watch that many cockroaches was unnecessary’

One fan of the show complained: ‘I’m A Celeb needs to actually tone down you know that was so uncomfortable to watch that many cockroaches was unnecessary.’

Another added: ‘Rats are clever, gentle animals (especially the domesticated ones I’m A Celeb will be using). They will be terrified in a little box with people screaming. Insanely cruel. Imagine the uproar if they used dogs.’

‘Feel very conflicted about when to watch I’m A Celeb or not. I love trashy TV like that but am not here for the use of live animals it’s really cruel,’ a third chimed. 

Distressing: As Andrew fought to keep the bugs off him, many were crushed to death on the side of the perspex, while his hands were also covered in bits of dead bugs

Distressing: As Andrew fought to keep the bugs off him, many were crushed to death on the side of the perspex, while his hands were also covered in bits of dead bugs

'Cruel': Criticism was focused on episode three of the long-running hit show, which averages nine million viewers per series

‘Cruel’: Criticism was focused on episode three of the long-running hit show, which averages nine million viewers per series

‘I’d like to think I’m fairly level headed, but when I see animals being eaten alive, crushed, manipulated, stressed all for the same of entertainment that just seems so wrong to me,’ a fourth disgruntled viewer added. 

Criticism was focused on episode three of the long-running hit show, which averages nine million viewers per series.

During the trial, contestants including Caitlyn Jenner, Jacqueline Jossa, Ian Wright and James Haskell were each asked to unscrew stars from a box filled with animals.

They were also screwed into a perspex helmet into which other creepy crawlies were added.

Feeling his fear: Andrew's fellow campmates looked on as he made distressing moaning sounds

Feeling his fear: Andrew’s fellow campmates looked on as he made distressing moaning sounds 

Jacqueline had to fight through spiders to unscrew the stars, which translated into extra food for the show’s two camps. Others had snakes, rats and scorpions.   

After the show, Buglife, a nature conservation charity that campaigns on behalf of invertebrates, slammed the show for ‘ignoring’ the value of bugs.

A spokesman said: ‘Once more I’m a Celebrity has ignored the effect of creating entertainment on sentient animals.

‘If these were fluffy pandas there would be mass public outcry and disgust.’ 

Hard: During the trial, contestants including Caitlyn Jenner, Jacqueline Jossa, Ian Wright and James Haskell were each asked to unscrew stars from a box filled with animals

Hard: During the trial, contestants including Caitlyn Jenner, Jacqueline Jossa, Ian Wright and James Haskell were each asked to unscrew stars from a box filled with animals

PETA’s director, Elisa Allen, dubbed the task ‘tired, tacky and moronic.’

She said: ‘After nearly two decades on our screens, during which thousands of complaints have been logged with Ofcom, it’s beyond shameful that I’m a Celeb is still allowed to roll out the same tired, tacky, moronic, and – worse – cruel ‘challenges’ year after year.

‘People are no longer wondering whether a celebrity will win plastic stars but rather whether the show will ever try something original, witty, or smart and lay off the animals who are terrified, abused, and even killed for a cheap, immature laugh.’ 

It comes after another cockroach-filled challenge saw Caitlyn and Kate Garraway suspended in the air in plastic boxes filled with bugs while they tried to get balls into a moving box below.

At the time, telly presenter Kate screamed the animals had made their way into her knickers.

Ofcom and ITV have been contacted for comment.

Brave: Caitlyn had to face snakes during the terrifying Bushtucker trial

Brave: Caitlyn had to face snakes during the terrifying Bushtucker trial 

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