I’M A Celebrity crew were left in shock after a wanted man allegedly tried to drown a policeman in a creek just five miles from the show's Oz camp.
Sergeant Mark Maxwell was taken to hospital with water in his lungs after the man – who had an outstanding arrest warrant – allegedly held him underwater.
The copper was patrolling in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, just five miles from where the ITV series is filmed and which is due to start on Sunday, November 6.
An insider said: “Security is incredibly tight but it puts everyone on alert when they hear wanted criminals are on the loose just a stone’s throw from the camp.
“The crew work around the clock to ensure that the camp is safe from trespassers."
They added: “Luckily the celebrities have not moved in yet but it goes to show that the high level of security is certainly justified.”
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An ITV spokesman said: "The production of I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! has stringent security measures in place in and around the camp at all times.”
The officer, from Tweed-Byron Police District, was patrolling when he came across an injured man and woman on Monday, October 31, around 4:45pm.
After stopping to check on the woman, the officer noted that the man, Ronald Charles Canning, 33, had an outstanding warrant.
When the officer went to arrest the man, he allegedly attempted to flee and ran towards a nearby creek before a struggle ensued between the pair.
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Police allege the man forced the sergeant's head underneath the water in an attempt to drown him.
The policeman was taken to hospital for treatment to water on his lungs and has since been discharged to recover at home.
A police report stated: “A member of the public intervened, freeing the officer and assisted to restrain the man, before the officer was able to affect the arrest.”
Canning, who faced Tweed Heads Local Court on Tuesday, was arrested and charged with attempted murder and was refused bail.
It comes as I'm A Celeb has been brought forward this year to allow room in the schedules for the World Cup later in the month.
The show has returned to its Aussie base for the first time since 2019 after the pandemic forced ITV to stage its biggest show in Gwrych Castle, Wales.
But viewers made it clear they were keen to see a return Down Under and bosses have signed a bumper line-up of stars to celebrate.
The famous faces include Mike Tindall – the show's first ever Royal signing – and Boy George.
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Olivia Attwood is the first ever Love Island star to enter the jungle along with Coronation Street's Sue Cleaver, Loose Women star Charlene White, Lioness Jill Scott, Hollyoaks star Owen Warner and Gogglebox star Babatunde Aleshe.
And today The Sun revealed former Health Secretary Matt Hancock has signed up to appear on this year's show as a surprise extra campmate.
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