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GRUB'S OFF; I'm A Celeb hit by a national shortage of - bushtucker favourite.

Byline: NICOLA METHVEN reporters@dailyrecord.co.uk

FANS of I'm A Celebrity will be metamortified to hear the show has dropped witchetty grubs from its jungle menu.

It will be the first time since 2002 that the creepy-crawlies haven't been served to squeamish stars on the ITV show.

Australia has suffered a national shortage of the larvae - which feed off wood before turning into moths - due to a particularly rainy winter.

It has left a bad taste in the mouths of I'm A Celebrity bosses ahead of the new series, which kicks off on Sunday.

However, celebrities will be relieved that they will not have to force the slimy delicacy down their throats during the dreaded Bushtucker Trials. Previous contestants who were not so lucky include Christopher Biggins, Charlie Brooks and Katie Price.

Series producer Tom Gould explained: "There is an Australiawide shortage of witchetty grubs because of the weather.

"It has been too wet for them, so they haven't hatched this year. We usually get them from Tasmania. We've tried to source them from every possible state - but there are none."

Now his team are desperately trying to find replacements to sit alongside the other disgusting dishes, which include fish eyeballs and kangaroo willy and anus.

Producers are also concerned about huge storms which have been predicted during the programme's three-week run in northern New South Wales. And the camp has already been struck by bad weather.

Gould said: "Lightning wiped out our internet for 12 hours. This is a bit worrying when we are doing a live broadcast."

Hosts Ant and Dec will welcome 10 stars into the jungle Down Under. They include snooker legend Steve Davies, Emmerdale's Lucy Pargeter and swimmer Rebecca Adlington.

There are new trials too including Scares Rock - based on Uluru - Limo-Scream and the first ever submarine challenge, Sub-Merged.

CAPTION(S):

DINGLE ALL THE WAY Lucy, who plays Chas Dingle in Emmerdale, is a contestant n

IN DEEP TROUBLE Underwater test is one of the new trials

THINK IT'S CRAWL OVER Katie Price swallows grub on show in 2004

WITCHETTY HUNT No more grubs
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 15, 2013
Words:350
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