Pensioners ate insects and held slithering snakes as their care home staged its own version of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Residents at Care UK’s Mountfitchet House in Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex enjoy watching the ITV show each year, so managers decided to bring it to life for them with their own bushtucker trials.

Doreen Barber, 96, who took a seat at the challenge table with 92-year-old Mary Tierney, tried eating creepy crawlies from stockists Eat Grub, including crickets and grasshoppers.

Residents were also introduced to snakes, including a two-metre-long (6ft 6in) albino snake, and tarantulas which were brought to the home by external animal providers.

Residents Doreen Barber, 96, and 92-year-old Mary Tierney hold a snake as their care home brough I'm A Celebrity... to life for them. (Care UK/ PA)
Residents Doreen Barber, 96, and Mary Tierney, 92, hold a 6ft-long albino snake as their care home brought I’m A Celebrity… to life for them (Care UK/PA)

“We had so much fun taking part in the challenges – we are always up for trying something new, and we laughed non-stop the whole afternoon,” said Ms Barber.

“I loved meeting the jungle animals the most.

“I couldn’t believe how gentle and soft the snake was, and the tarantula was really beautiful too.

“The insects were rather dry, and maybe a bit too healthy for us.

“We much preferred the milkshakes which were actually a surprise treat, as they were banana and chocolate flavoured.”

Doreen Barber, 96 with the care home's Lifestyle Lead Dan Bailey. Ms Barber said the insects were 'rather dry'. (Care UK/ PA)
Doreen Barber, 96, with the care home’s lifestyle lead Dan Bailey (Care UK/PA)

Jane Maxwell, home manager at Mountfitchet House, said: “Here at Mountfitchet House, we are always looking for fun and exciting activities for residents to get involved in, whether that’s hosting a weekly art club, or creating our very own jungle experience.

“Each year, residents love watching the show together, and were thrilled when they found out we were bringing the show to life for them.

“Everyone loved getting a chance to hold the snakes and tarantulas, and trying the edible insects in front of ‘Ant and Dec’ really did make them laugh.

“Life in a care home isn’t all knitting and nattering – of course, some residents do enjoy these activities, but they also like trying things that are new and exciting, and we’re keen to support them to do so.

“Everyone had a wonderful time, and we’re pleased to say that the Mountfitchet House team brought home a full house of stars for camp.”