Ant and Dec make a ‘quick trip’ to Wales in search of the new I’m A Celeb castle


Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly made a quick trip to Wales in search of the new I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! castle on Wednesday.

The show, which was forced to move location from Australia to the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic, is said to be ‘under threat’ as the country is hit with new lockdown rules.

Brushing aside the drama, the series’ hosts Ant, 44, and Dec, 45, appeared in great spirits as they posed in front of a sign directing them to Gwrych Castle for a snap shared to their joint Instagram account.

‘If only there was a sign’: Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly made a quick trip to Wales in search of the new I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! castle on Wednesday

The presenters appeared to bring the jungle vibe to the chilly town of Conwy as they sported brown and camouflage print outfits as they prepared to film for the upcoming edition.

They captioned the image: ‘Quick trip to Wales in search of the #imaceleb castle. If only there was a sign… @itv.’

Producers are set to entertain viewers by making the contestants face ghost trials to adhere to the ‘haunted’ theme of the castle.

Drama: The show, which was forced to move location from Australia to the UK due to Covid, is said to be 'under threat' as the country is hit with new lockdown rules (Gwrych Castle pictured)

Drama: The show, which was forced to move location from Australia to the UK due to Covid, is said to be ‘under threat’ as the country is hit with new lockdown rules (Gwrych Castle pictured)

Shock-factor: Producers are set to entertain viewers by making the contestants face ghost trials to adhere to the 'haunted' theme of the castle (2019 winner Jacqueline Jossa pictured)

Shock-factor: Producers are set to entertain viewers by making the contestants face ghost trials to adhere to the ‘haunted’ theme of the castle (2019 winner Jacqueline Jossa pictured)

A source told The Sun: ‘I’m A Celebrity is all about stars facing their fears – and this year will be as terrifying as ever, a real test of their bravery.

‘Some trials will nod to the castle’s spooky history – expect chilling trials with creepy tasks – they’ll send a real shiver down celeb’s spines.’ An ITV representative declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline.  

The 20th series of the hit show is due to start filming later this autumn, but new lockdown rules which come into force this week could cause problems if they remain in place by the time shooting begins. 

Exciting times ahead: The 20th series of the hit show is due to start filming later this autumn (presenters Ant, 45, and Dec, 45, pictured)

Exciting times ahead: The 20th series of the hit show is due to start filming later this autumn (presenters Ant, 45, and Dec, 45, pictured) 

The new guidance for Conwy has been posted online by the Welsh government and states ‘people will no longer be able to form, or be in, an extended household (sometimes called a bubble)’.

‘This means meeting indoors with anyone who is not part of your household (people you live with) is not allowed at the moment, unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person,’ the new rules explain.

Another rule states that ‘people will not be allowed to enter or leave the Conwy County Borough area without a reasonable excuse’. 

The restrictions come into force at 6pm on 1 October 2020 and will be kept under review. 

ITV have yet to confirm a start date for the new series but the show traditionally begins airing in November, giving the chance for local lockdown measures to ease in the coming weeks. 

The broadcaster has also had great success with filming their soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale under strict guidelines and under COVID-secure measures, so are well-versed in the restrictions.   

Bosses have reportedly forked out millions to make the 19th-century castle where this year’s series is being held in North Wales safe.

Work in progress: Construction work continued on North Wales' 200-year-old Gwrych Castle this month, ahead of the November start date

Work in progress: Construction work continued on North Wales’ 200-year-old Gwrych Castle this month, ahead of the November start date

Concerns: Following the witch from sunny Australia to chilly North Wales, bosses were said to be very worried that they wouldn't be able to bag big names (the original set pictured in 2017)

Concerns: Following the witch from sunny Australia to chilly North Wales, bosses were said to be very worried that they wouldn’t be able to bag big names (the original set pictured in 2017) 

I’m A Celebrity’s haunted house: How the ghost of  a duchess stalks corridors of Gwrych Castle

Gwrych Castle was built by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh in the early 1800s

It boasts 250 acres of historic gardens and parkland, and was built as a memorial to his mother’s ancestors, the Lloyds of Gwrych

The castle is thought to be haunted by a number of spirits, including previous owner Winifred Hesketh, the Countess of Dundonald who died in 1924

The Countess left the castle in her will to King George V and who then passed it onto the Prince of Wales (who became King Edward VIII) 

Haunted? The castle is said to be haunted by the Countess of Dundonald

Ghosts? The castle is said to be haunted by the Countess of Dundonald

The castle was passed to the Venerable Order of Saint John, and in 1928, Douglas Cochrane, 12th Earl of Dundonald purchased the castle for £78,000

During World War Two around 300 Jewish refugees lived at the castle, and was requisitioned as part of Operation Kindertransport

Following the war the castle became a visitor’s attraction, but it has fallen into disrepair in recent years after a plan to turn it into a hotel never materialised.

It has apparently been a costly affair to transform the castle into a TV set, as workers installed electrics and pipes to provide the location with running water. 

According to reports, the star-studded line-up of campmates will be housed under a waterproof roof in a show first to protect them from the bitter UK climate.  

In pictures obtained by The Sun, a studio where hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly has been erected, as well as an uncovered area where contestants will be allowed to light a camp fire.

A section of the location where they will sleep has been covered with strong plastic to keep the winds and rain at bay. 

Last month Kevin Lygo, the Director of Television at ITV, has revealed that all stars for this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! have been confirmed. 

And while rumours circulate that Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn, presenter Vernon Kay, and Coronation Street’s Beverley Callard have signed up, Lygo assures all of the as-yet-unnamed stars have been confirmed – despite the change of location.

Restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced ITV to switch locations to the Gwrych Castle, and has resulted in major changes to production, affecting everything from what food challenges stars will do to where they will sleep.

While creepy crawlies such as witchetty grubs have been a mainstay on the Australian menu, dining in north Wales will have more of a local flavour, as it’s been reported their eating challenges will include sheep’s testicles. 

The change of location means a change of weather for contestants who will have to battle 8.5C (47.3F) temperatures and winds, a stark contrast to the blistering heat in the Australian jungle 22C (71.6F).

Contingency plans will be put in place to combat drastic weather changes, including make shift huts when they need protection from the elements.

Reports: Selling Sunset's Christine Quinn could be entering the castle

Speculation: Presenter Vernon Kay, has also been reportedly offered an eye-watering £250,000 to take part in this year's show

Reports: Rumours swirl that Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn (left) and presenter Vernon Kay (right) could be set to enter the cast this autumn 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk