Under-fire bosses at U.K. Tv network ITv have spoken out to insist stars are not at risk on reality show I'm a celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! after funnyman Brian Conley quit the jungle with health problems.
The British comedian left the rainforest-based survival show on Monday (19Nov12) after breaking down in tears following several bizarre clashes with his fellow campmates, including former heavyweight boxing champion David Haye.
The walkout has sparked fears Conley, who has battled depression and a drinking problem in the past, was not mentally strong enough to cope with the demanding conditions in the Australian wilderness.
However, producers have now hit back, insisting show staff go to great lengths to protect contestants and ensure they are mentally fit for the challenge.
In a statement, a spokesman for ITv says, "The safety and welfare of our contestants is of paramount importance. All contestants are assessed by independent medical experts. We also have contact where necessary with celebrities' Gps (doctors). Medical personnel are also available 24 hours a day in Australia to provide support if needed."
Former Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts, 1980s pop star Limahl, and veteran British actor Colin Baker are among the celebrity contestants battling to survive for three weeks in the jungle on the U.K. version of this year's (12) show.