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I’m A Celebrity: ITV ends ‘bushtucker trials’ that include eating live bugs

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Live insects will not be eaten in this year’s I’m A Celebrity, in a “permanent” change to the reality TV show.

I’m A Celebrity has previously been criticised for using live bugs in its ‘bushtucker trials’.

Some tasks on the ITV show have included insects being eaten alive or dumped onto contestants.

The stars could still be covered in bugs during filming in Australia but any eaten will already be dead.

“Producers have taken a look at the trials and decided that no live critters would be eaten in the trials this year,” BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat has been told.

An ITV source said: “They have been planning this for some time and actually last year beach worms were the only critters eaten live but this time around they’ve decided to implement the change fully and permanently.”

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Insects like this witchetty grub have been eaten alive on previous series of I’m A Celebrity

This year’s line-up includes former Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle, ex-footballer and broadcaster Ian Wright and Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts.

‘Eating live invertebrates was abuse’

The move has been welcomed by wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who says he’s “very pleased” at ITV’s decision, but describes it as “a first step.”

“I hope this is the start of some significant change,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“What’s long concerned me about the programme is that is portrays animals in the wrong way.

“There was never any ambiguity that eating live invertebrates was abuse and also exploitation for entertainment.”

Chris also criticised the show for stereotyping animals like rats and snakes as “bad organism.”

He also said he thought ITV’s decision was part of a change in global thinking due to the current climate crisis.

“We’re going to have to make changes,” he added.

“That means you and I making changes in our lives, that means TV producers making changes in the way they make their programmes.”

I’m A Celebrity starts on ITV on Sunday evening.

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Strictly Come Dancing 2019 crowns its winners

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Media captionWatch the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 winner be announced

Former Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher, who was only drafted into Strictly Come Dancing as a last-minute replacement, has been voted this year’s winner.

Kelvin and professional partner Oti Mabuse lifted this year’s glitterball trophy on BBC One on Saturday.

Although the pair came second on the judges’ scoring, they topped the public vote to win the show.

Kelvin and Oti triumphed over Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden; and Emma Barton and Anton Du Beke.

The couples performed three dances in Saturday’s final – a judges’ pick dance, their own favourite routine from the series and a new showdance.

The winner was chosen by audience voting alone.

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Guy Levy/BBC

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The final saw all the contestants of the series reunite for one last dance

Kelvin said he was “absolutely speechless” after his win, adding: “I did not expect that, it’s been such a privilege to be here.”

In a post on Twitter, he said he was “humbled, elated, honoured”, adding: “Team #Floti did it!”

Kelvin was only called up after Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing injured his foot while recording the launch show – and the fellow TV star tweeted his congratulations:

Kelvin and Oti began their routines with a sensual rumba to Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers for which they scored 39 points, followed by a perfect-score showdance to Shout by The Isley Brothers.

Judge Bruno Tonioli said their showdance was “almost like watching 13 weeks of all the best of Strictly Come Dancing condensed into one dance” and Oti’s sister and fellow judge Motsi Mabuse, who joined the panel this year, said: “I have no words…”

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Guy Levy/BBC

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‘You just put the show in showdance,’ said presenter Tess Daly

For their final dance, they revisited their samba to La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz, which they performed in week one.

Judge Shirley Ballas said to Kelvin: “Which part of that body doesn’t move? Fantastic, congratulations, I have no words, you’ve left me speechless.” He scored 39 for the second time of the night.

The Strictly win will give a huge boost to Kelvin, three years after he left his role as Andy Sugden in the long-running ITV soap, which he had played for two decades.

It is also the first time Oti has lifted the trophy. Speaking through tears, she said: “I’ve been on this show for five years and I have never ever met any celeb who gives his heart, his soul…

“If something is not working we stay in training and rehearse, not because he wanted to win but because he genuinely, genuinely loves dancing, and for me that is the best gift and the best ending to my year, so thank you.”

CBBC presenter Karim and his partner Amy performed the quickstep to Mr Pinstripe Suit – and were the only pair to get a perfect score for their first dance.

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Guy Levy/BBC

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Karim and Amy topped the judges’ leaderboard

Their showdance to A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman landed them 39 points and they scored a second perfect 40 for their jive to You Can’t Stop The Beat from Hairspray.

Some fans complained they were unable to vote online, with many saying they were being told they had reached their “maximum number of votes allowed” despite not having yet cast a vote.

The BBC reminded people having difficulties that they could vote by phone.

Emma and Anton opened with the Charleston to Thoroughly Modern Millie, which they first performed on musicals’ week.

Tonioli told Emma, who is best-known for playing Honey Mitchell in BBC show EastEnders, that she was his “favourite flapper ever”.

But the pair missed out on a perfect score by one point after judge Craig Revel Horwood pulled them up on a “sync issue”.

Their showdance to Let Yourself Go by Irving Berlin won them 38 points and their final dance – the Viennese waltz to the musical song Send In The Clowns – netted them 39.

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Guy Levy/BBC

Saturday night was the first time Anton had reached the final since the show’s first series in 2004.

After their final performance, Emma praised her dance partner: “Anton, the King of ballroom, thank you for allowing me to be your Queen for the last three months.”


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Emmerdale actress Sheila Mercier dies aged 100

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Sheila Mercier was part of the first ever episode of Emmerdale Farm

Emmerdale actress Sheila Mercier has died aged 100, ITV has confirmed.

The Hull-born star played Annie Sugden in the soap from its first episode in 1972 until 1994 and continued to make guest appearances up until 2009.

The British Soap Awards remembered Mercier – who was the sister of actor Brian Rix – as the “very definition of a matriarch”.

Claire King, who plays Kim Tate in Emmerdale, has described Mercier as the soap’s “beating heart”.

A spokeswoman for ITV confirmed Mercier’s death in a statement on Friday night.

She said: “It’s always sad to hear of the death of an actor who played a significant part in Emmerdale’s success.

“Even more so when that actor was in the very first episode and around whose family the show was built.”

Emmerdale actor, Mark Charnock, also paid tribute to Mercier.

Charnock, who plays Marlon Dingle, said: “The great Sheila Mercier has left us. What an iconic character Annie Sugden was.

“Used to watch it with my grandparents as a boy, so to meet her in later years was a thrill.”



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John Lennon’s sunglasses sell for £137,000

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The glasses of John Lennon (with Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney) formed a distinctive part of his image

A pair of John Lennon’s sunglasses have sold for £137,500.

The Beatles star left the round-rimmed glasses in the back of Ringo Starr’s Mercedes in the summer of 1968.

Former chauffeur Alan Herring, who sold them at auction at Sotheby’s in London, said he noticed at the time that they were damaged.

“I asked John if he’d like me to get them fixed for him. He told me not to worry they were just for the look,” he said.

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Sotheby’s

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The green-tinted sunglasses were missing a screw but Lennon said they were “just for the look”

Mr Herring said he never did get them fixed. They were sold to an unnamed bidder on Friday.

The sale included other Beatles’ memorabilia, including a necklace with cowbells worn by George Harrison, which sold for £10,000.

“For my family’s sake, it makes sense for me to say goodbye to my collection now while I can still tell all the stories behind everything,” he said.



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