Helen Flanagan - the former Coronation Street actress currently appearing on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here - could have been killed by an Ostrich during a 'bushtucker trial', according to the RSPCA. The organisation says that Flanagan could have found herself in serious trouble had the bird become distressed.
Ostriches are classified in the UK as dangerous animals, though ITV were seemingly happy to put the squeamish actress into a tiny room with the bird during a challenge on November 15, 2012. According to the BBC, it had taken Helen around an hour to be convinced to go into the room while the ostrich waited inside. As she made a noise by opening the door, the animal began opening its wings before the room was plunged into darkness. Klare Kennett from the RSPCA said, "Helen chooses to go in there but the ostrich doesn't.It's a concern that these big birds are used for entertainment in this way, especially to frighten somebody. The ostrich could easily have become very stressed and hurt the contestant quite badly.It's even possible Helen could have been killed" Ostriches have a hugely powerful kick that could easily kill a human being - they can also run at more than 40mph. Nevertheless, ITV defended their decision and said it always took precautions to ensure the safety of contestants and animals. A spokesperson said: "The welfare of contestants and animals is of paramount importance to I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! and expert animal handlers are on site at all times." Quite what an "expert animal handler" could have done if the ostrich had kicked out at Flanagan remains to be seen. Klare Kennett was also unconvinced, saying, "Even if there were handlers nearby they may not have been able to get to her in time.It's taken several RSPCA inspectors to bring an ostrich under control. It's not like catching a dog."
In 2009, ITV was fined £1,672 after celebrity chef Gino D'Acampo killed and ate a rat while taking part in the show.