I'm A Celebrity fans slam ‘ageism' as Arlene Phillips, 78, is first out after public vote

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I'M A Celeb said goodbye to its first star tonight – as Arlene Phillips was given the boot from the TV castle.

Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly revealed the former Strictly Come Dancing judge would be packing their bags after a public vote.

I’m A Celebrity fans slam ‘ageism’ as Arlene Phillips, 78, is first out after public vote

Arlene Phillips said she was disappointed to be the first out of the castle Credit: ITV

I’m A Celebrity fans slam ‘ageism’ as Arlene Phillips, 78, is first out after public vote

The star, seen here with Naughty Boy, has left the I'm A Celebrity castle Credit: Rex

Viewers had their first chance to get rid of a celebrity at the start of tonight's show and chose Arlene, who is the series' oldest ever contestant at 78.

However, plenty of fans were fuming at the decision with one writing: “Arlene Phillips out first. Bare ageism.”

Another tweeted: “Arlene had more life in her than many of them in there, ageism alive & well eh….”

Speaking to Ant and Dec after they delivered the public's verdict, she said she was disappointed with the news.

Asked if she struggled to keep order in camp with the rows that Naughty Boy has found himself at the centre of, she said: “I tried to keep the chain strong.

“Of course, it is hard when there are arguments and sometimes those arguments were so unnecessarily.”

However, despite the rows she backed Naughty Boy to be crowned King of the Castle.

She said: “I know I'm leaving happily and what I'm excited about is one of them will go on to win.”

Speaking about the challenges, she said: “I've psyched myself up and was so prepared for it. I was ready to take the trials when I had to.

“I'd focused on why I was doing this and what I wanted to achieve for my granddaughter to show I was fearless. But it is hard.”

In past years, the first exit has taken place after just 10 days but this year things are different due to Richard Madeley being forced to quit and the series being taken off-air amid Storm Arwen.

Viewers usually vote for who they want to be King or Queen of the castle and the person with the fewest will be axed.

I’m A Celebrity fans slam ‘ageism’ as Arlene Phillips, 78, is first out after public vote

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge is the show's oldest ever contestant Credit: Rex

Richard Madeley replaces wife Judy to become Richard and Arlene for I’m a celebrity challenge

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