The 18th season opened to an impressive overnight average of 11 million as it kicked off on Sunday night, peaking at 11.9m.
The average figure was 700,000 up on last year’s launch, and the highest-rated first episode of the ITV reality show since 2013.
According to ITV, it was the biggest overnight audience for any channel so far this year, outside of World Cup matches, even beating coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.
It was also the fourth-largest audience for the launch of ‘I’m A Celebrity’ in the show’s 16-year history.
Of course, many curious viewers will have been tuning in to see how Holly fared co-hosting her first show alongside Declan Donnelly.
‘This Morning’ host Holly is filling in for Ant as he continues his time away from the spotlight, in the wake of his conviction for drink-driving earlier this year, for which he was fined £80,000.
Ant returned to social media on Sunday to wish Dec and Holly all the best for the series, tweeting: “All the very best of luck to the little fella and @hollywills for the show tonight. Lots of love from the big fella!!”
The first episode saw the 10 new celebrities - including the likes of football manager Harry Redknapp, ‘X Factor’ finalist Fleur East, The Chase’s Anne Hegerty and ‘DIY SOS’ presenter Nick Knowles - competing in a number of challenges before entering camp, with the aim of building a team along the way.
One challenge - reportedly the highest task ever seen on the show - saw them climbing two towers strutting out from the edge of a cliff in to collect as many flags as possible.
However, the events of the day proved to be a little too much for an overwhelmed Anne Hegerty, who was seen breaking down in tears, admitting to the group she was “really close to saying ‘I can’t do this’”.
‘I’m A Celebrity’ airs every night on ITV.