The 'I'm A Celebrity' stunt in the Australian jungle that went horribly wrong.

The show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here calls for contestants to perform a wide assortment of activities, which most of the time, are challenging. Just like any reality television show, the entertainment factor is consistently upped at each task to give us hungry viewers what we want: To see celebrities struggle.

Frankly, it’s both quality television and the desired reminder that celebrities are real people who are also afraid of spiders, confined tunnels, and eating live insects. See, we do have things in common!

But the UK version of I’m a Celebrity has recently pushed this beyond its limit. Set in the ‘Australian Jungle’, 44-year-old English comedian Iain Lee was told the following:

“Below this water is the Temple of Gloom which is made up of a series of tunnels and chambers. Some of them have air pockets and some are flooded so you’ll have to hold your breath.”

“You’ll start the Trial with your head in an air pocket, then when you hear the klaxon you have 11 minutes to swim through the various chambers collecting 11 stars, every star you collect is a meal for camp.”

Listen: What happens on I’m A Celebrity… (Post continues after audio.)

An air pocket? Sounds not so safe and mildly terrifying. The only way for Iain to get a gasp of air was to weave his body through an abundance of creepy crawlies, snakes, and these confined tanks. How pleasant.

What the show failed to factor in was that the tanks were too tightly packed, and were too large for Iain to swim through.

The viewers at home could clearly see Iain attempt to retrieve the stars for his team to use in exchange for meals, but the minor failure in calculation by television producers proved it to be almost impossible for Iain. Not only was he bound to fail the task, but he was unable to breathe.


Contestants are told that if the task at hand ever becomes overwhelmingly difficult, all they have to do is yell – you guessed it – “I’m a celebrity get me out of here!”

Iain not so much yelled it, but wheezed it with pain painted all over his face.

But what rarely occurs after this confession of defeat is the arrival of a medic. In this instance, one came rushing as soon as the words were breathlessly emitted by Iain to give him several blasts of oxygen.

Iain Lee struggled for breath on I'm a celebrity
The air pockets obviously didn't pocket enough air... Image: Shutterstock.

Just as any comedian would handle a potentially life threatening situation, Iain jokingly asked, “how did I do?” as he crawled out of the tank. Considering you’re alive and breathing, you did marvellously, Iain.