'I'm A Celebrity's Nick Knowles & John Barrowman Have Opened Up A Debate Around 'Unconscious Homophobia'

The I'm A Celebrity jungle isn't exactly known as a place for heated debate. However, a recent discussion between the celebrity campmates has opened up a wider conversation online. And after a seemingly innocent chat about a pair of knickers, some viewers have accused I'm A Celebrity's Nick Knowles of casual homophobia.

Up until this point, viewers have been very keen on the DIY SOS host, and as Bustle have previously reported, according to some bookmakers, Knowles is currently the second favourite to win the entire show. However after an interaction with John Barrowman, in which Knowles asked the Torchwood star to pick up some knickers instead of himself, has rubbed some viewers the wrong way. Knowles stated that he didn't "feel comfortable" hanging women's underwear on a washing line, and was challenged by a confused Barrowman about his unwillingness to handle the pair of knickers, after he was asked to move them instead.

As reported by Digital Spy, the 56-year-old shrugged off his request as simply an "old-fashioned" way of thinking, however Barrowman, who is openly gay, did question as to why Knowles felt it was acceptable for a gay man to touch women's underwear, while he couldn't do it himself.

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Although the campmates appeared to quickly move on from "knicker-gate," the onlooking public appear to have continued the debate online, with one tweet, which now has over a thousand likes, arguing that Knowles was acting "unconsciously homophobic."

Inbetweeners actress Emily Atack, who's knickers are at the centre of this social media storm, shared a more sympathetic viewpoint on Knowles' way of thinking. She declared that she appreciated the television presenter's actions of "old-fashioned chivalry", and it seems that some I'm A Celebrity viewers are in agreement with the 28-year-old. Though unsurprisingly, this support appears to come largely from those not impacted by the comments. Perhaps we should allow the community impacted to determine whether something felt derogatory, rather than denying their experience or the offence caused. To do so doesn't suggest malicious intent on Knowles' behalf; it simply acknowledges the impact the remarks had and the validity of their experience.

"Knicker-gate" isn't the only drama Knowles has been caught up in recently. Although this year's camp is known for being pretty friendly (so far), some tension has arisen between himself and the '90s TV legend Noel Edmonds. According to Digital Spy, Knowles has become known as someone who likes to stick to the rule book, and after Edmonds continued to break the rule of leaving the campsite alone, friction between the two became increasingly obvious.

Addressing Edmonds as he returned to camp alone, Knowles complained "Noel, you are not allowed to leave camp without someone, that's one of the things that will lose us the task," which prompted Edmonds to sarcastically reply "Well maybe I didn't leave camp! Na-na-na-na-na." And later in the Bush Telegraph, Edmonds discussed his frustrations. He said: "There's Nick getting his knickers in a twist because he thinks I left the camp. He can be such an arse at times."

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Elsewhere, some hungry campmates butted heads after a disagreement about portion sizes. Eastenders actress Rita Simons, couldn't hold her tongue when she declared that Barrowman's plans to cook just four portions of rice between 11 campmates simply wasn't enough, reports Digital Spy. So, despite being quite the happy family since entering the I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here camp - it would seem that some cracks between the celebrities are definitely beginning to show.

I'm A Celebrity continues each night at 9 p.m. on ITV1.