I’m A Celebrity UK 2020: Jessica Plummer, Mo Farah and Vernon Kay kick off first UK-based series


I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! kicked off its first ever UK-based series on Sunday night, with the ten celebrities reaching their new home at Gwrych Castle for the first time.

Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were quick to reference the show’s new home by greeting fans in Welsh, and joked that even ‘the helicopters were socially-distanced’ in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The opening show saw celebrities including Vernon Kay, Beverley Callard and Mo Farah face a gruelling challenge as they journeyed into the castle, where they’ll face the toughest conditions in the show’s 18-year history.

It’s here! I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! kicked off its first ever UK-based series on Sunday night, with the ten celebrities reaching their new home at Gwrych Castle for the first time

As the show kicked off, hosts Ant and Dec appeared to be embracing the Welsh language as they greeted fans with ‘noswaith dda’ (good evening) from their new home in the castle, admitting even they were surprised the show had made it to air during the current crisis.

Revealing the ten celebrities were being flown into Wales, Dec joked: ‘Even the helicopters are socially-distanced!’

Mo Farah, Beverley Callard, Hollie Arnold, Shane Richie and AJ Pritchard were dropped in the Welsh mountains, where they leaned they’d had to retrieve their rucksacks from the cliffside, with the help of the other five celebrities.

Getting a glimpse of the Welsh landscape from her chopper, Beverley said: ‘Snakes, spiders, creepy crawlies, rats, I don’t like enclosed spaces – why have I said yes to this show? Oh dear, I don’t mind ironing.’

We're back! Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were quick to reference the show's new home by greeted fans in Welsh, and joked that even 'the helicopters were socially-distanced' in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

We’re back! Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were quick to reference the show’s new home by greeted fans in Welsh, and joked that even ‘the helicopters were socially-distanced’ in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Off we go! The show kicked off with stars including Mo Farah flying into the Welsh mountains on a helicopter

Scared: AJ Pritchard couldn't hide his fears as he and the other celebrities prepared to take on their first challenge

Off we go! The show kicked off with stars including Mo Farah (left) and AJ Pritchard flying into the Welsh mountains to meet with the celebrities they’d be living with

Ready: Vernon Kay was raring to go and get into the castle

Scary: Beverley Callard had reservations about the challenge at hand, confessing she had 'no survival skills'

Ready: Vernon Kay and Beverley Callard (right) both clearly had reservations about the challenge at hand

AJ added: ‘This is the one show I watched as a child and always wanted to do, this is a dream come true.’ 

Mo said ‘I don’t have any survival skills apart from running away from things you don’t like.’ 

Vernon Kay, Jessica Plummer, Jordan North, Giovanna Fletcher and Victoria Derbyshire learned that they would also have to make their way down the side of a cliff to collect the rucksacks, which were padlocked to the rocks, with the help of the other stars who had been placed higher up.

First task: The opening challenge saw the celebrites work in pairs to abseil down a cliffside to collect rucksacks with their kit inside, for when they move into the castle

Working in pairs the stars would unlock the rucksacks after answering questions about each other, and any wrong answers would mean that stars would be without their kit when they head into the castle.

From the start Jordan struggled with the prospect of abseiling down the perilous cliff, and was sick in the grass before saying: ‘I can’t believe I was sick, I’ve only been here five minutes and I’m puking up already.’ 

The challenge proved to be as dramatic as ever, with Giovanna losing her footing as she made her way down the cliff, but she quickly recovered before managing to grab the first rucksack.

That's nasty: From the start Jordan struggled with the prospect of abseiling down the perilous cliff, and was sick in the grass before saying: 'I can't believe I was sick, I've only been here five minutes and I'm puking up already'

That’s nasty: From the start Jordan struggled with the prospect of abseiling down the perilous cliff, and was sick in the grass before saying: ‘I can’t believe I was sick, I’ve only been here five minutes and I’m puking up already’

We got there! Jess struggled with nerves as she made her way down the clifffront, collecting the rucksacks before using the stars' answers to open the padlocks

We got there! Jess struggled with nerves as she made her way down the clifffront, collecting the rucksacks before using the stars’ answers to open the padlocks

They've made it! As they headed into the castle for the first time, the ten stars got a glimpse of their living quarters for the next 20 days

They’ve made it! As they headed into the castle for the first time, the ten stars got a glimpse of their living quarters for the next 20 days

Vernon was up next down the cliff with Beverley at the bottom to help him, and the duo managed to get the next rucksack, following swiftly by Victoria and Jess.

Jordan was the last star to take on the cliff, and despite struggling with the height he managed to abseil down and reach the rucksack, with all the stars managing to answer their respective questions correctly.

As they headed into the castle for the first time, the ten stars got a glimpse of their living quarters for the next 20 days, with little sources of heat apart from a burning campfire.

Emotional: But it seemed that camp life was already taking its toll on Jessica

Sad: She tearfully told the other girls that she was missing her daughter Noa, four

Emotional: But it seemed that camp life was already taking its toll on Jessica, as she tearfully told the other girls that she was missing her daughter Noa, four

But it seemed that camp life was already taking its toll on Jessica, as she tearfully told the other girls that she was missing her daughter Noa, four.

She told Giovanna and Hollie: ‘I said to my daughter before we left each other that if she misses me when she’s at home, she looks for the moon, I can look at the moon and we can both see it.’ 

The actress had previously revealed she’d recorded video messages for her little girl in her absence, telling MailOnline earlier this week: ‘It’s strange, the closer I get to it the more excited I am to do the show but the more daunting it is to think I’m not going to see her for more than three weeks which is heartbreaking because currently the longest I’ve not seen her is four days. 

‘She’s my little girl. It’s gonna be really weird but I hope I just make her proud. Hopefully if it’s been pre-recorded and OK for her to watch she can watch me. 

‘I recorded messages for her just like ”good morning,” literally I’ve pre-recorded up to three weeks just in case I’m there for the long haul so at least she’ll see me everyday. 

‘She’ll be around family so I know she’s going to be absolutely fine but it will be strange for sure.’

Once she’d wiped away her tears, Jessica and the other stars got to grips with their new living space, including the ‘horrific’ bathroom, as Jordan described.

Beverley complained: ‘The washroom. First of all its minging. It needs a really good clean. Well I’m sorry but no. My hair. I will look like I’ve had Donald Trump’s hairdresser.’

This year’s stars will experience the most brutal living conditions in the show’s 20-year history, after ITV relocated from Australia to Wales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hosts Ant and Dec, who will be presenting from their new studio next door, will enter the castle’s living quarters at the end of each episode to reveal which celebrity has been voted by the public to do the trials – which, like always, will feature critters.

Taking it on: After admitting she wanted to sign up for the show as 'an adventure' following her battle with breast cancer

Get stuck in: She threw herself into the task of abseiling down the cliff

Taking it on: After admitting she wanted to sign up for the show as ‘an adventure’ following her battle with breast cancer in 2015, Victoria threw herself into the task of abseiling down the cliff

ITV hired the 19th century castle for six weeks costing £1 million after Covid-19 ruled out the usual setting in Australia.

MailOnline was given special access to the show’s brand new set located inside the eerie Gwrych Castle, ITV hired the 19th century castle for six weeks costing £1million after Covid-19 ruled out the usual setting in Australia.

The contestants will sleep on rusty old beds, covered by a newly installed plastic roof, with only the campfire located inside the adjoining living quarters providing any heat.  

If the campmates need the toilet at night, they have to wander outside in the Baltic conditions to visit the Privy, a battered old shed, which has replaced the traditional dunny.

And the usually pampered celebrities will bathe in a tiny tin bath and wash their hair using water from an old watering can hanging above – their modesty covered by a mouldy shower curtain.

The live shows will air in the evening for the guests – instead of morning time in Australia – which means the tasks will be held late at night, with a torchlit staircase replacing the famous bridge.

Executive producer Tom Gould told Mirror Online: ‘This is the equivalent of our trials bridges in Australia. So this is where they go down and face their fears in the trials.

‘Obviously it will happen at night, after the live show, so these flaming torches will all be lit and it will be very atmospheric.’

The 2020 series is also expected to only last 20 days – two shorter than normal.  

ITV announced an extreme COVID Management Plan to ensure the series runs smoothly, including the celebrities being tested every three days and crew members wearing proximity buzzers, wear masks and get temperature checks on arrival. 

The celebrities have been isolating for two weeks ahead of their arrival. 

ITV Studios Director of Entertainment, Richard Cowles, said: ‘Everyone on the production team has worked incredibly hard to bring I’m A Celebrity to Wales and a massive part of making that possible has been developing our protocols around COVID.

‘We have worked with ITV’s Independent Chief Medical Officer Dr Paul Litchfield, ITV’s Health and Safety Department and our own health and safety and medical teams to keep everyone connected with the production, both in front of and behind the camera, as safe as possible.’

Dr Paul Litchfield added: ‘Those involved in I’m A Celebrity are used to working safely in extreme and difficult environments.

‘The procedures and protocols developed aim to provide defence in depth against the coronavirus, applying industry best practice while always adhering to government and local guidelines.

I’M A CELEBRITY… GET ME OUT OF HERE! 2020: Who are the celebrities?

Name: SIR MO FARAH CBE

Age: 37

Claim to fame: The most successful British track athlete in Olympic Games history 

Phobias: Any animal that moves

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: It will be nice for people to see me doing something other than running

Role in the camp: Cook

Miss most: Coffee, my wife and children

Dream campmate: Samuel L Jackson would be pretty cool

Relationship status: Married

Name: SHANE RICHIE

Age: 56  

Phobias: Human faeces. If I see one, it is over! I am hoping the camp toilet will be enclosed

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: Nothing. I don’t think I am that interesting

Role in the camp: Person who will muck in with anything 

Miss most: My family and routine at home

Dream campmate: Eric Cantona, any 80s’ pop star or The Roc

Relationship status: Married

Name: BEVERLEY CALLARD

Age: 63

Claim to fame: Corrie legend 

Phobias: Ghosts and insects 

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: People think I am glamorous as I have played Liz for so long but I am not

Role in the camp: Cleaner 

Miss most: Dogs and my husband, Jon

Dream campmate: Ricky Gervais – he would keep us all going

Relationship status: Married

Name: AJ PRITCHARD 

Age: 26 

Claim to fame: Former Strictly professional

Phobias: Heights, claustrophobia

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: People see me with sparkles and fake tan but nobody knows what I am like

Role in the camp: Keeping spirits up and the cleaner

Miss most: My warm and comfy bed

Dream campmate: Any celebrity with an intriguing background

Relationship status: Dating

Name: VERNON KAY

Age: 46

Claim to fame: TV and radio presenter

Phobias: I don’t like being confined underwater!

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: I think I have always been the same throughout my career – so I don’t have any.

Role in the camp: Person to keep spirits up.

Miss most: My family.

Dream camper: Anybody who has won the Super Bowl!

Relationship status: Married.

Name: VICTORIA DERBYSHIRE

Age: 52  

Claim to fame: Award-winning journalist

Phobias: I am not a fan of spiders or confined spaces and I don’t know what I am going to be like when I get there! 

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: I don’t think I have any as people just know me as the news and current affairs person! 

Role in the camp: Shoulder to cry on. 

Miss most: My boys, husband, dog and Mum. 

Dream campmate: Madonna, Gary Lineker and Jamie Oliver to cook for us. I think you could have some really geeky chats with them! 

Relationship status: Married.

Name: GIOVANNA FLETCHER

Age: 35

Claim to fame: Author and podcaster

Phobias: Heights. My legs go wobbly and you can’t rationalise it

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: I am not that controversial so nothing

Role in the camp: Mum, friend and the giver of hugs

Miss most: My husband, Tom, and my three children

Dream campmate: The Queen, Judi Dench and Ant Middleton so he can help us with all the survival skills

Relationship status: Married

Name: JESSICA PLUMMER

Age: 28

Claim to fame: Former EastEnders actress

Phobias: Arachnophobia, fear of heights –just about every phobia

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: It will be nice for people to see me for who I am rather than my EastEnders character

Role in the camp: Chatterbox and little sister

Miss most: My daughter. It’s going to be the longest we’ve been apart

Dream campmate: Denzel Washington would be awesome. I would listen to every word he said

Relationship status: Single

Name: JORDAN NORTH

Age: 30

Claim to fame: Radio 1 DJ 

Phobias: It’s just easier to say what I am not scared of. I have so many phobias

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: On my Radio 1 show, I am always bubbly and energetic but everyone has down moments too, so it will be nice for people to see what I am really like

Role in the camp: Entertainer and the tidy up person –I love a tidy house

Miss most: A nice cool pint of Guinness

Dream campmate: Barack Obama and Liam Gallagher. He would be great entertainment value

Relationship status: Single

Name: HOLLIE ARNOLD MBE  

Age: 26

Claim to fame: Paralympic gold medallist 

Phobias: Spiders

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: I don’t want it to focus on my disability

Role in the camp: Cook/shoulder to cry on 

Miss most: My boyfriend, food and my cats

Dream campmate: Michelle Keegan –she is beautiful

Relationship status: Dating

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk