I’m A Celebrity has come under fire from animal welfare charity PETA After after Ant McPartlin was seen filming the advert for the new series while sat on a small Shetland pony.  

After Friday’s official trailer for I’m A Celeb, the 45-year-old presenter shared a behind-the scenes clip of Declan Donnelly with Declan. 

In the Instagram footage, Ant dressed as a knight sits on the horse’s back. He jokes that the horse is doing a little dance while pacing. 

Under fire: I'm A Celebrity has come under fire from fans after Ant McPartlin was seen filming the advert for the new series while sat on a small horse in a behind-the-scenes clip

Awkward: In the footage, Ant is sat on the back of a Shetland pony

Fans are furious: I’m a Celebrity was filmed by Ant McPartlin while sitting on a small horse and filming the advertisement for the new series. 

Dec was also seen in this clip, dressed as Ant and sitting on a much larger white horse, as it shuffled around with him on his back.

Ant laughed and said, “Haha, it’s doing some dance for you,” before singing, “Do a little dance, make some love, get down tonight.”

Later, he was seen giving the horse treats and saying that this is what you get when you’re a good boy.

PETA issued a statement in response to the footage. The organisation called for more creative and humane ways to promote the show.

New promo: Ant shared footage of him filming the advert for I'm A Celebrity's new series to the Instagram page he shares with Declan Donnelly on Sunday night

New promo: Ant shared footage from him filming the advertisement for I’m A Celebrity’s new series on the Instagram page he shares it with Declan Donnelly Sunday night

PETA’s Director Elisa Allen said in a statement to MailOnline: ‘Is there anything I’m A Celebrity wouldn’t do in a desperate attempt to get cheap laughs at the expense of animals’ welfare? 

“This stunt caused a Shetland pony, a Shetland pony, to struggle and risk acute back pain, even lameness.

Allen added: ‘PETA urges the show’s producers to find more creative and humane ways of introducing its absurd antics and to leave animals in peace.’

Fans were excited to see I’m A Celebrity back on TV next month. However, the post – posted via Ant and Dec’s Instagram account – was overshadowed in part by others sharing their disappointment at the use of the small pony advert. 

Difference: In the footage, Dec is seen sat on the back of a much bigger white horse

Difference: Dec can be seen sitting on the back a much larger white horse.

Funny guy: Ant jokes in the clip that his horse is 'trying to do a little dance' as it paces around with him on his back and moves its head up and down

Funny guy: Ant jokes about his horse trying to dance while he is on his back. The horse moves its head up and down and paces around the clip.

All dressed up: He is seen dressed up as a knight while on set filming in the countryside

All dressed up: While filming in the countryside, he is dressed up as a knight.

Fans claimed that Ant looked in pain and Ant was too heavy for Ant to be sitting on Ant’s back.  

One person wrote: “Bloody hell Ant! You are too big for the little horse get off!” 

Another person asked: “How was that allowed?…beyond belief it’s wicked, poor little pony?”

A third alleged: ‘That’s not cool guys. The pony is swaying around like that because of his weight. The pony should not be carrying the weight of a small child, but a fully grown man in armour. The horse is clearly not happy which doesn’t make it very funny.’

Horsing around: The star was in high spirits as he straddled the pony in his costume

Horsing around: Ant's size was clearly noticeable on the back of the horse

Horsing around: The star was high spirits as he straddled his pony in his costume

'Good boy': In the footage, Ant was also seen giving the horse a treat for being a 'good boy'

Ant is a ‘good boy”: Ant was also shown giving the horse treats for being a good boy.

'Poor little pony': Fans were quick to share their 'disappointment', as hundreds commented on the clip and claimed Ant was 'too big' to be sat on the pony

“Poor little pony”: Many people commented on the clip, claiming Ant was too big to sit on the pony.

A fourth one said: “Love your work, always have. But shame on you both for using that small pony for Ant, who is clearly too heavy for it.”

“I thought it was funny until I saw Ants horse.. far to small for him with all his weight.. made my upset,” said another follower. 

Another said, “Would be better if they show him on a Rocking Horse as he is too heavy for that pony,”

One person commented: ‘I’m shocked this was allowed! Ant is too big for that tiny pony! So disappointed.’

Another shared: ‘I love guys and you both are brilliant, but this doesn’t make it funny at all. You will be putting a lot of strain on that pony’s back. I’m disappointed in you guys. 

Mixed reviews: While some found the behind-the-scenes clip 'hilarious', others shared their 'upset' over Ant being sat on the back of the small horse

Mixed reviews: While some thought the behind-the scenes footage was hilarious, others felt annoyed that Ant was sitting on the backside of the small horse.

Others found the horse’s large size hilarious, and applauded it’s tongue-in-cheek humor. One follower commented, “Hilarious that the horse is so small.”

One fan commented, “This is hilarious haha,” while others added a crying laughing emoji. 

MailOnline reached out for comment to an ITV spokesperson. 

Friday’s official trailer for the upcoming series of I’m A Celebrity was released. It will be filmed in the UK at Gwrych Castle, Wales. 

In the 40-second-long clip, Ant and Dec go on a quest dressed in knight costumes. Ant jokes about Dec’s horse’s size and Dec’s who is shorter than him and quipped: ‘I think we’ve got the wrong horses.

Back again: The official trailer for I'm A Celeb dropped on Friday, with Ant joking in the 40-second long clip that he thinks he and Dec, who is shorter than him, got the 'wrong horses'

Back again: Friday’s official trailer for I’m A Celeb was released. Ant jokes in the 40-second-long clip that he and Dec, who are shorter than him, got ‘wrong horses’.

After being shown the lineup for this year, which has yet to be revealed publicly, it was a surprise. Although no details were provided about this year’s stars, Ant and Dec animatedly reacted to the news, before revealing that they were ‘happy with’ the confirmed celebs. 

Rumoured stars to appear include Love Island’s Maura Hyggins, Richard Madeley EastEnders Adam Woodyatt judge Arlene Phillips and Richard Madeley. 

Preparations are underway at Gwrych Castle in North Wales for the upcoming series. This camp will host the event for the second year consecutively due to travel restrictions around its usual home on Australia’s east coast. 

Exciting: The pair set out on a quest as they returned to the castle where I'm A Celebrity filmed in North Wales last year during the pandemic ahead of another UK-based series

Exciting: The pair set off on a quest to return to the castle they filmed I’m A Celebrity in North Wales last year, as the pandemic was advancing towards another series based in the UK.

ITV bosses are in a time crunch to save the building and its surroundings, ahead of the new series that is expected to start in November.

After fears that Australia might close its borders because of the ongoing pandemic, the reality show, which normally films in the Australian bush, had to move to the crumbling castle.

Producers have filed a detailed planning application to the authorities to make the country home habitable in time for the new series.

The UK’s first I’m A Celebrity series took place last year. Giovanna Fletcher won the show, with Radio 1 host Jordan North coming in second and Vernon Kay in third.  

Not long to go: I'm A Celebrity, which usually films in Australia, is set to return in November

It’s not too late: I’m A Celebrity will be returning in November