Launch of I'm A Celeb only beaten so far this year by Blue Planet 2 as full figures come in

The launch of this year’s I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! has become one of the most-watched programmes of the year so far, figures show.

Full viewer ratings for the ITV contest’s first episode this month show 12.69 million people tuned into to see a fresh batch of brave stars enter the Australian jungle this month.

The number includes people who recorded the show and watched it up to seven days later.

It marks the third largest audience for an I’m A Celebrity launch throughout the show’s 16-year history, following a total of 13.52 million viewers in 2013 and 12.76 million in 2011.

Blue Planet II
Only Blue Planet II has topped the viewer figures (Rachel Butler/BBC/PA)

According to figures, only BBC nature series Blue Planet 2 (check out our episode guide) has topped the ITV reality contest for figures so far this year.

Sunday’s episode of I’m A Celebrity drew in an average of 8.3 million, peaking at 9.2 million, while Blue Planet attracted 10.4 million viewers, peaking at 10.5 million.

The Great British Bake Off, which dropped audience numbers after moving to Channel 4 from its original BBC One home for this year’s series, was watched by an average of 10.4 million viewers per episode, including linear repeats.

The show’s final, which saw Sophie Faldo crowned winner, was viewed by 7.7 million viewers, peaking at 8.9 million.