Report by ITV Wales reporter Ian Lang
ITV has officially confirmed that the 2020 series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! will be filmed at a castle in north Wales.
The broadcaster had previously revealed that the show, which usually flies celebrities out to the Australian jungle, would be taking place in the UK for its 20th series because of the coronavirus pandemic.
And now Gwrych Castle in Abergele has officially been confirmed as the location where presenting duo Ant & Dec will host an adapted version of the hit show, live each night on ITV this autumn.
As on the regular series, viewers will see a group of celebrities undertake grueling trials and challenges to win food and treats in the lead up to one of them being crowned, for the first time ever, King or Queen of the Castle.
Dr Mark Baker, Chair of the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, said the show will “really help support Gwrych Castle and its ongoing restoration as well as giving the region a much-needed economic boost.”
He added: “I’m absolutely delighted that I’m A Celebrity has chosen Gwrych Castle to be its UK location for the 2020 series. Gwrych Castle is a beautiful grade I listed 19th county house and a must-see destination for tourists visiting Wales.”
With views of the countryside, Gwrych Castle - which is rumoured to be haunted - is nestled in a tree lined hillside overlooking the Irish Sea. The ruined castle is spread across 250 acres of gardens and grounds.
Richard Cowles, Director of Entertainment at ITV Studios said: “The Australian jungle is such an integral part of the show it was a big challenge to find a UK location where we could continue to deliver what viewers love about I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! But Gwrych will definitely do that; the Castle sits in an amazing and atmospheric setting on a hillside overlooking the Irish Sea.
“While there will be plenty of changes required as we move from New South Wales in Australia to North Wales in the UK, we are really excited to see how we can adapt the format and make the Castle our new home for a very special 20th series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! this Autumn.”
Watch: Drone footage shows the epic ruins of Gwrych Castle
It's fabulous for Wales!
Welsh fashion designer David Emanuel, who finished runner up in the 13th series of the show, said he thought the news was "fabulous" for Wales.
"It's great for Welsh tourism, and you wait, there's going to be millions and millions of people trying to break in to see what's going on", Mr Emanuel told ITV Wales.
"I mean that's what happened in Australia! We had heavy security to keep all the campmates in, and all the public out.
"But listen, it's going to be a very different camp this year, because of the weather!
"Beautiful countryside, fabulous to show the countryside, but it's going to be cold. It's going to be November, and there's going to be lots and lots of rain."
Lord Elis-Thomas, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We’re extremely pleased to welcome such a large production to Wales, offering a chance to showcase a spectacular part of our country to significant audiences across the UK.
"We’re looking forward to working with the team on this production and hope to use this opportunity to show some of what North Wales has to offer.”