This year I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here has sparked much controversy in camp, from accusations of animal abuse to bullying.
But the usually squeaky clean voyeuristic presenters, Ant and Dec also came under fire for a sketch they created, supposedly above the murky depths of humour on the jungle floor in their canopy studios.
After Jungle Queen, Scarlett Moffatt announced that she had contacted eminent scientist Stephen Hawking about her theory on time travel, the duo decided to play up to the hilarious notion of Scarlett and Stephen talking science.
In the sketch, Ant and Dec pretended to call Stephen Hawking and mimicked his phone’s personalised voice recording when they supposedly got through to his voicemail.
Ant, impersonating Hawking, said:
Sorry lads. It’s a load of old tosh.
Almost instantaneously, a Twitter storm whipped up complaints from a number of individuals who felt the sketch was insensitive to the 78-year-old scientist who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease as a young man.
Have them twats just took the piss out of Stephen Hawking?….thats really low and not funny at all. #ImACeleb
— Tim (@Dangerous180) November 16, 2016
Oooooooh. Risky. Taking piss out of Stephen Hawking #ImACeleb
— UK Business RT (@UKBusinessRT_) November 16, 2016
taking the piss out of stephen hawking. not a fan of that at all #ImACeleb
— TMR (@tomrmurray) November 16, 2016
However, it seems Hawking’s defenders were misguided. Since ITV‘s game show has ended, Ant and Dec have revealed they received an email from Hawking himself, reassuring them that no offence was caused.
Dec told The Mirror:
We got an email from Stephen Hawking after that. He said he enjoyed her thoughts on the pyramids and enjoyed the sketch that we did in the studio. So that was a highlight.
From one national treasure to a pair of national treasures, it seems all is well and Stephen Hawking – being gifted with brains and a killer sense of humour – is officially the coolest man in the world.