ITV's I'm a Celebrity... records highest-ever launch episode audience of 14.2m

Consolidated viewing figures show increase of one million.

ITV's I'm a Celebrity... records highest-ever launch episode audience of 14.2m

This year’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! launch episode has recorded its highest-ever audience, consolidated viewing figures have revealed.

The reality show, now in its 18th series, attracted 13.7 million people, a 52% share of total viewing – up by one million viewers year on year and an increase of four percentage points.

ITV Hub, the broadcaster’s vide-on-demand platform, recorded 479,000 people watching the launch episode, which aired on 18 November.

Overnight figures revealed a peak audience of 11.9 million.

In terms of 16- to 34-year-olds, the first episode of the series pulled in 3.8 million viewers, the second-biggest audience for this demographic after the England vs Croatia World Cup semi-final earlier this year.

ITV said the highest-ever audience that I’m a Celebrity… has pulled in is 14.7 million, with a 55% share, for the series finale in 2004.

The show has been hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly since it began, but this year the latter is accompanied by Holly Willoughby.

Ian Whittaker, head of European media research at Liberum, explained that this shows that "big brand shows can still pull in big audiences" including the younger demographics. He added: "It may bring late money into the market for ITV for November (possibly) and December, which had been forecast to be quite weak."

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