I'm A Celebrity launch attracts 12m viewers

Joey Essex Joey Essex is one of this year's I'm a Celebrity contestants

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I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! has attracted a peak audience of nearly 13 million and an average of 12 million viewers on its series debut.

It marks the highest rating for the ITV programme's launch show, with the show now in its 13th year.

That makes it this year's second highest live overnight audience, just behind the Wimbledon final (12.1m).

Presented by Ant and Dec, this year's stars include Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington and Westlife's Kian Egan.

Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television, said: "A peak audience of nearly 13 million viewers in its 13th series is fantastic, a real testament to the continuing power of this brilliant show."

The peak figure of 12.9 million viewers is a 48% share of the night's viewing.

Public vote

The second most-watched programme between 9pm and 10.30pm on Sunday was BBC One's Britain and the Sea, watched by an average of 2.7m.

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! features famous faces living in a jungle environment in Australia, with limited food and basic equipment. After the first week of the nightly show, celebrities go up for the public vote and the one with the least votes leaves the show.

The series will run until the beginning of December.

Contestants also have to compete in dare-devil trials such as underwater challenges and eating creatures such as maggots and cockroaches.

The highest ever rating for I'm A Celebrity... Get Me out of Here! was 14.9 million viewers in 2004's series finale.

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