Contract clause ‘penalty’ for Celebrities who quit TEN’s jungle


EXCLUSIVE: Been wondering why none of the stars on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! have uttered those famous words yet?

It’s a little know fact, but sources indicate to TV Tonight that part of the contract for the TEN reality series includes a clause that if any celebrity quits the show they will forfeit a significant portion of their salary.

The clause, understood to be based on contracts used in the UK show, is to ensure the show has sufficient cast through to the end of the series.

Updated: A TEN spokesperson has responded, “We do not disclose the contents of confidential agreements with people who appear in Network Ten programs. However, your article is inaccurate and littered with mistakes.”

In the expensive game of television production, very little is left to chance.

TV Tonight understands the amount that could be forfeited could be as high as 65% of gross salaries. Effectively, someone who quits the show 5 weeks into the 6 week run could go home with as little as 35% of the total salary.

While it would make for great (and hilarious) drama for someone to quit the show, the clause helps ensure they continue to squirm under the pressure of rats, snakes, spiders, gross food trials and death-defying challenges. On that front the cast is certainly delivering.

Some cast members have even been put in the firing line by commentators accusing them of fake tears and meltdowns in order to win the show, but the isolation and punishing conditions is clever genre manipulation in order to elicit story content.

The remaining celebrity unit is proving remarkably endurable with very little conflict given its circumstance, and even the odd tantrum or tears falls a long way short of those seen on other Reality shows. This bunch have pulled together in their jungle greens, headed up by the wonderfully kooky mother hen, Maureen McCormick.

No doubt the incentive to stick it out to the finish line has been helped by a little clause that is ironically at odds with the title of the show.


  1. A penalty clause is a necessity. Maureen, Chrissie and Joel would have all been gone within the first 7 days. They were struggling badly. No one thus far has seemed particularly disappointed they’ve been booted.

    On a side note, congratulations to Ten for taking the plunge and investing in fresh content. I’m a Celeb, Shark Tank and Gogglebox have all gained significant traction and the tide seems to be slowly turning for Ten. It would be pleasing to see them build on this with some quality Australian drama ( Wonderland isn’t quality) and invest in the Ten news brand again.

  2. If you are going to torture people you can’t just let them walk away.
    I guess it also explains why they are smiling when they are voted out.

  3. The pay penalty makes sense – think there have been one or two Aus “celebs” who would have seriously considered walking out if this wasn’t in place. Would be really interesting to see how much they’re actually paid.

    They deserve all they can get for having to eat all those revolting food dishes and being covered in raw offal and animal blood -absolutey foul!

    Bazza is definitely earning his keep though, having to do the last 3 challenges in a row. A bit unfair I think – there should be a limit on how many times in a row one particular “celeb” has to do a task.

  4. HardcorePrawn

    The UK version of the show had to deal with a possible mutiny one year.
    After a successful bush tucker trail the group were given a fairly small amount of food (a handful of rice and one small sausage each) and they all hit the roof. As a group they announced that they would all be walking off if they didn’t get more food.
    If memory serves one of the celebs even mentioned that they were no longer bothered about the reduction in their pay too.

      • HardcorePrawn

        That’s the one, the interior designer Linda Barker was his deputy in the revolt.

        That year they had a withdrawal too, with actress Daniella Westbrook leaving early.

  5. I just assumed it as a given that there would be a financial penalty for anyone that walked from the show early. It makes sense otherwise everyone takes the money and runs.

  6. carolemorrissey

    I’ve never watched the overseas versions of this show, and wondered if people had quit them. By the title of the show, I originally thought that they would quit, not us voting them out. But it seems like it’s to get out of the challenge, not quit the show. I’ve been enjoying it, it’s different to the other reality shows on at the moment. It’s similar to Survivor but without the challenges and 2 tribes.

  7. I’m very ambivalent about this series but, looking at a production pragmatically, are we really that surprised? So, you take off on an expensive jaunt overseas to capture a series and all the contestants walk out after the first fortnight. You need something in place to try and keep them there otherwise you could be desperately flailing about trying to get another lot to go. And Aussie is short on celebs so the series would basically crumble. Yep, could be great viewing in one way but pragmatic? I agree though with Rutzie re the paid journalism. I don’t care for that sort of thing much. One of them seems to be over there for the entire series and to me his articles are marketing shots – no more, no less.

  8. jezza the first original one

    Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame once quit the uk show in 2004 in the middle of the night…..that got heaps of press at the time, so you can see why ch 10 have taken this approach. I must say that Celeb is on every night in our household. The production mob have done very well

    • HardcorePrawn

      While John Lydon did quit the show ITV certainly got their money’s worth from him.
      His interaction with the others (most notably the friction between him and Katie Price and Peter Andre, and his unexpected friendship with Kerry Katona and Lord Brocket) made for compulsive viewing. As did his numerous outbursts and tendency to disappear for days on end.

    • I think the Johnny Rotten anecdote is a good example of the power of authentic reactions being enables to run their natural course. Networks have slowly become more unwilling to allow any natural process (in natural justice terms also) within reality TV. Honestly, I have major respect for MKR but the constant enabling of those who have been thrown out is becoming too predictable. It’s also rather like ‘soft’ image marketing and, in another domain, simply bad parenting. We used to have greater respect for the series when judges stood by their decisions and raised the bar appropriately. Winners of a major series like MKR should be someone with exceptional skills and once upon a time, they sort of were. Now we see people thrown out for woeful meals winning a series. It’s not art imitating life – and that’s the problem with many current series imo.

  9. There is no doubt in my mind that some of them would’ve quit if this clause wasn’t in their contracts. Just out of curiosity David did Ten offer to fly you over to South Africa to report on the show like they have with other journalists? They are certainly getting their moneys worth out of News Corp. Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing this story pop up on the news website.

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