Network Ten’s highly-anticipated I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here has managed a respectable 1,199,000 viewers on debut.
The show’s opening segment – featuring hosts Chris Brown and Julia Morris – had 1,136,000 before increasing to 1.19 million as the celebrities were finally revealed.
Ten had gone to great lengths to protect the identities of the 10 celebrities prior to last night’s launch and – if social media is any indicator – many viewers weren’t overly thrilled with the calibre of the show’s talent and lack of diversity.
Arguably the biggest surprise was 58 year old American actress Maureen McCormick who famously played Marcia in 70s TV series The Brady Bunch. McCormick looked uncomfortable from the outset and must be odds-on to be one of the first departures. Other celebs included former Australian fast bowler Merv Hughes, former AFL star Barry Hall and Olympic swimmer Leisel Jones.
However, some viewers could have been left scratching their heads over the status of little known model Tyson Mayr, former Hi-5 kids entertainer Lauren Brant and catty Perth comic Joel Creasey.
It’s been reported in the Fairfax press that each contestant will be paid as much as $60,000 per week for their appearance on the show, a respectable sum if they manage to last the show’s six-week duration. The ultimate winner gets to donate $100,000 to the charity of his or her choice.
Arguably the highlight of last night’s program was TV and radio personality, Chrissie Swan, who managed to spent a disproportionate amount of air time sliding down a muddy mountain and was later covered in locusts, ants and maggot larvae.
Channel Nine and Seven also had good Sunday nights too; with Seven’s men’s Australian Open final predictably winning the night with 2,088,000 viewers. Nine could only manage 991,000 for its one-day cricket final, which could be of concern with the World Cup starting in a fortnight.
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