I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! is to be filmed in Wales for the second series in a row.
The programme will again be filmed in Gwrych Castle near Abergele in North Wales amid ongoing uncertainty around international travel.
The last series of the ITV programme – which has run for two decades – was filmed in the UK for the first time after the coronavirus pandemic forced producers to abandon plans to make the programme at its usual base in Australia.
I’m a Celeb is synonymous with the UK’s winter months, airing in the run up to Christmas and providing nightly entertainment from the jungle in Australia… usually.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
Where will I’m a Celeb 2021 be filmed?
In March, ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said the show would return to Australia for the next series if possible, adding it is “meant to be” in the country.
While last year’s Gwrych Castle series was watched by more than 10 million viewers, ITV bosses said the “glitz and glamour” of the jungle adds to the excitement and provides a form of escapism during the dark nights.
A border force source said at the time: “ITV have assurances from Australian border control bosses that even if a wider travel ban is still in place for tourists, they’ll get the paperwork and clearance they need to send cast and crew to Aus. It’s a big moment.”
But despite that, the channel has since confirmed the show will once again be staying closer to home in Wales, due to the “uncertainty around Covid and international travel”.
“We’ve always said we have contingencies in place for the series if the Covid situation continued to bring uncertainty,” said Katie Rawcliffe, ITV head of entertainment commissioning, “and after a highly successful run at the castle last year we’re pleased that we can return there.”
Richard Cowles, director of unscripted at Lifted Entertainment, which produces the programme, said: “We’re excited to return to Gwrych Castle. The last series was a huge success and we were made to feel so welcome by everyone locally and can’t wait to see everyone again.”
The move will help the ongoing restoration of the castle, according to Mark Baker, chair of the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust.
Where is Gwrych Castle?
Gwrych Castle, is near Abergele in Conwy County Borough, North Wales.
The Grade I listed 19th-century country house is home to 236 acres, and was built between 1810 and 1825 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh.
It was owned by heiress Winifred, Countess of Dundonald from 1894 until 1924 but then fell out of the family. The castle was later purchased by the 12th Earl of Dundonald.
It became a visitor attraction in the 1950s but later fell into decline in the 1980s. There were a number of attempts to rescue the castle, before it was finally sold to Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust in 2018, which relies on volunteers to restore its buildings.
It’s expected that filming I’m A Celebrity at the castle will help to fund further restoration work.
Chair of the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, Dr Mark Baker told Wales Online: “ I'm A Celebrity being here will really help support its ongoing restoration as well as giving the region a much-needed economic boost. We are all very excited to be working with the team again."
Can I visit Gwrych Castle?
The castle is currently closed to the public while filming of I’m A Celebrity 2021 takes place. However tickets are now available to purchase for spring 2022.
You can find more information about prices and bookings on the castle’s website.
Will there still be bugs?
Producers have claimed this year’s series will be the “most grueling yet”, but will we see the usual cascades of creepy crawlies during the celebrity Bushtucker Trials?
Last year, the programme was forced to defend its use of bugs amid reports the programme is under police investigation for releasing non-native wildlife during filming.
Police investigated the programme over its use of non-native species of bugs including cockroaches, maggots, spiders and worms, according to The Guardian.
The newspaper said the programme had potentially breached the Wildlife and Countryside Act if it failed to get a licence for the release of the insects.
Who will the contestants be?
The confirmed cast of I’m A Celebrity 2021 are:
- Strictly Come Dancing legend Arlene Phillips
- Former Newcastle and Spurs winger David Ginola
- Former Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge
- Daytime TV presenter Richard Madeley
- Olympic diver Matty Lee
- BBC Breakfast veteran Louise Minchin
- Musical producer Naughty Boy
- Radio 1 Extra host Snoochie Shy
- Emmerdale actor Danny Miller - who plays Aaron Dingle on the ITV soap
- Olympian and Celebrity MasterChef 2021 winner, Kadeena Cox
Rumoured contestants are:
- Coronation Street actor Simon Gregson - famed for playing hapless Steve Macdonald
- Eastenders actor Adam Woodyatt - aka Ian Beale
When is I’m A Celebrity on TV?
I’m A Celebrity 2021 began on 21 November at 9pm on ITV and will air every night at the same time. It’s expected to run for 20 episodes.
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