The 20th series of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! launched on Sunday night with a peak of 12m viewers tuning in to see Ant and Dec host the series from Wales for the first time.
Opening with an average of 10.9m across its slot from 9pm to 10.30pm, the ITV reality show drew its biggest audience since the 2018 final.
And it became the most-watched non-news programme of 2020 with its biggest ever 16 to 34 audience.
More than half the available TV audience – 51.9 per cent – tuned in, an increase of a million viewers compared with last year.
This was the second biggest launch for I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! since 2013 and its fifth biggest launch episode ever.
One fan said on Twitter: “I’m preferring the castle vibes to the jungle tbh it was getting stale after nearly 20 years.”
And another commented: “I’m loving this already. And it’s insane that they are only up the road from me. Gwrych Castle looks amazing.”
Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter
You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here
The show was the fifth biggest programme on any channel so far this year, only beaten by the Queen’s address and the Prime Minister’s COVID-related statements.
It had the biggest overnight audience for a non-news programme on any channel since the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special on BBC One last year.
And it drew I’m a Celebrity’s biggest ever share of 16 to 34 viewers with 77 per cent, attracting an average of 2.7m viewers with a peak of 3m.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, 10 celebs are staying for the next three weeks at Gwrych Castle in Abergele instead of the jungle in Australia.
Contestants include Coronation Street legend Beverley Callard and Bolton TV presenter Vernon Kay.
I’m a Celebrity continues on weeknights and Sundays at 9pm on ITV through to its final on Friday December 4.