NCH defends reality TV show's use of 'has-been' celebrities

Children's charity NCH has hit back at Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell's criticism of the reality TV show I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!, a programme that could earn the charity a share of up to £1 million.

Jowell accused the programme of featuring 'has-been' celebrities and warned of a viewers' revolt against reality TV.

Richard White, celebrity support manager at NCH, said the celebrities on the hit TV show deserved more credit for their charitable efforts in the Australian jungle.

"Long after the show has ended, and the phone and text voting has stopped, real differences will be made using the money raised by celebrities," he said.

The Elton John Foundation, Leukaemia Research Fund and Save the Children are among the charities to benefit from this year's show, in which viewers pledged money by texting a number for their favourite celebrity. Each night the celebrity with fewest votes was evicted.

The contest enjoyed an average of nine million viewers a night according to Granada, an increase of more than 15 per cent on last year's figures.

The previous series raised £650,000 for the eight charities nominated by the participating celebrities.

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