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Police give I'm A Celebrity "advice" over use of bugs on this year's show

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Police have given "suitable advice" to I'm A Celebrity over the use of animals in this year's series.

Due to the pandemic, the 2020 show is filming at Gwrych Castle in North Wales rather than its usual jungle in Australia.

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There have been some complaints over the use of bugs in trials, with Welsh naturalist and BBC Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams one of those voicing concerns.

He had told The Guardian: "Cockroaches are the ultimate survivors, and if they survive in north Wales and escape into the wild there, what effect are they going to have?

"I don’t know, nobody knows... I just find it incredible that they’re allowed to do this, and I’m not being a killjoy here. Why not use fish guts, or offal?"

BBC News reports that local police have since spoken to programme makers

A North Wales Police statement said: "North Wales Police and Natural Resources Wales have received information regarding the potential release of non-native species into 'non studio' areas, and we have given suitable advice to the production team regarding their set management and biosecurity."

Meanwhile a spokesperson for I'm A Celebrity said insects in trials were "non-invasive species" and were only ever released in a "contained area and collected immediately after filming".

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They added: "The bugs are UK bred and are commercially purchased in the UK for birds and exotic animal feed for pets and zoo keepers in normal circumstances."

The show previously defended using live animals in trials after being urged to replace the challenges with "animal-friendly alternatives" by the RSPCA.

ITV said at the time: "I'm A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices.

"We have a long working relationship with the RSPCA in New South Wales, Australia, and as such contacted their counterparts some months ago when we knew that the programme would be made in the UK, with a view to working collaboratively with them."

Presented by Ant & Dec, I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here airs every night on ITV.

Celebs taking part in the show this year include soap star Jessica Plummer, Paralympic Gold Medallist Hollie Arnold, TV presenter Vernon Kay, operatic tenor Russell Watson, journalist and broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire and West End icon Ruthie Henshall.

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They're joined by dancer AJ Pritchard, actress Beverley Callard, Radio 1 DJ Jordan North, athlete Sir Mo Farah, Star of Stage & Screen Shane Richie and author Giovanna Fletcher.

Picture: ITV

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