Ant and Dec have revealed they thought I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! was an “awful” title for the show when it was first pitched to them.
The duo have presented the Australia-based show since it first started on ITV in 2002 and this year it will be filmed in the UK for the first time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on My Life In A Mixtape with Ant and Dec on BBC Radio 2, Ant McPartlin said: “The producers came in, they explained ‘So, we’re going to get these celebrities, we’re going to put them in a jungle, we’re going to make them do these kind of… face their fears and do trials and stuff.’
“And we were like, ‘Well, this all sounds good, a bit like Big Brother and it’s a bit like other things, and they’re putting it all together.’
“And we were like ‘Great, OK! And we’re going to Australia, well that sounds good. And what’s it called?’ and they said I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!”
Declan Donnelly continued: “And we both looked at each other and we were like ‘Well that’s awful isn’t it?’”
McPartlin added: “What a terrible title. We we’re like ‘Yeah we’ll do it, but the title will change, obviously!’ Twenty years later, it hasn’t changed and it’s a huge show.”
The duo both shared their memories of filming the first series and Donnelly said it “wasn’t an altogether pleasurable experience”.
“None of us really knew what we were doing, let’s be honest. We were making the show up as we went along. We were stuck in the middle of Australia, not really knowing what we were doing and the days we’re long,” he said.
“And because it was live on TV here, it meant we’re up at 2am. We were not getting very much sleep. We were stressed. It was a tough time on the show.
“None of us really knew if it was going to fly or not. […] We were in the middle of nowhere, there were wild animals everywhere, there were spiders that could eat your head.”
My Life In A Mixtape with Ant and Dec is available to listen on BBC Sounds.