I'm A Celebrity bosses' decision to invite Nigel Farage into the jungle for a reported £1.5m seems to have backfired after the opening night's ratings dropped by millions compared to the 2022 ITV series.

The first episode of the 23rd season of ITV'S iconic I'm A Celeb featured Farage being gunked during a challenge in the outback, 2000 miles away from camp.

Last night's show brought in a peak audience of 7.8 million, and an average of seven million, which was down around two million from the same show on ITV last year.

Figures are thought to be down after thousands of furious fans threatened to boycott the show due to Brexit campaigner Farage's appearance in the jungle.

Many made their feelings clear on social media yesterday evening where #BoycottImACeleb was trending on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Mirror reports.

'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' TV Show, Series 23, Australia - 19 Nov 2023
Last night's opening show had around 2m less viewers than the 2022 series

Last year fans were also not impressed that former Health Secretary Matt Hancock had been invited on the show but it seems for some, Farage is the final straw.

When told that the show may miss out on viewers this season because of his inclusion, Farage told the Mirror last week that he expected his appearance would help ITV get even more viewers as he would bring his own supporters to the show for the first time.

He boasted: "Do you know what? There's a lot more people who haven't watched the programme that know me or supported me - some of the millions that have supported me over the years - I think net, I'll bring people to the programme, not diminish. All right?

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"Anyone who's a lover of I'm A Celebrity who doesn't watch it just because I'm on it has got to be an incredibly small-minded person."

After making his debut on the ITV show yesterday evening, the team handling his Twitter profile mocked the boycott by sharing a screengrab of the trending hashtags on X and writing: "Good to see the boycott’s going well then…"

Outback Challenge - Nigel Farage 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' TV Show, Series 23, Australia - 19 Nov 2023
Farage was voted to do the first challenge of the season, 2000 miles away from the camp in last night's episode

Their sarcastic comment came after fans snubbed Ant and Dec after the iconic duo posted a photo of themselves beside a pair of clocks with one showing Queensland time and the other UK time alongside the caption: "Let’s get ready to jungle."

However, responses to their post were less than enthusiastic, with one replying "Not a chance." while another simply commented: "Nope."

Last year's opening show boasted 9.1m viewers on average and a peak of 10 million but it didn't feature Matt Hancock who came in as a late arrival.

The first show featuring the former Health Secretary managed a peak of 9.1m and an average of 7.9m.

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