NEWS AND COMMENT: There’s an invasive species controversy surrounding the popular television programme in the UK, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! The BBC Springwatch presenter, Iolo Williams has complained to ‘rural crime officers’, reports The Guardian newspaper, about the cockroaches being invasive species. You know how the programme likes to test the participants’ metal by covering them in insects; well, in this instance Williams said that it was madness to use a non-native species for entertainment.
He is arguing that the cockroaches are non-native and because they’re being released on the set of this programme, which because of the cultivars pandemic is in a 250-acre estate surrounding Gwrych Castle in North Wales, the producers have jeopardised the country. Comment: it wouldn’t have happened in Australia where they are tremendously rigourous about introducing invasive species of any kind into the country for fear of jeopardising their unique wildlife.
Williams argues that although he is not sure which species of cockroach they are releasing he is sure that they are non-native to the country.
We don’t have those cockroaches here in the UK and we certainly don’t have them in North Wales.
The I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! challenge takes place in a container so ostensibly the cockroaches can’t get out and infest Wales and beyond. However, Williams argues that contestants may carry the insects on their bodies when leaving the enclosure.
You are not going to tell me that every single one of those is found? Of course it’s not.
An ITV spokesperson said that the cockroaches are only ever released in a contained area and that they are collected immediately after filming. They were purchased in the UK. The police are investigating.