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I’m A Celebrity bosses ‘have forked out millions to make derelict castle venue safe’

I’m A Celebrity bosses have reportedly forked out millions to make the 19th-century castle where this year’s series is being held in North Wales.

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.

After the coronavirus pandemic dashed hopes of the Australian jungle being this series’ setting, bosses hired Gwrych Castle, in Abergele, for £1million for six weeks.

Big bucks! I'm A Celebrity bosses have reportedly forked out millions to make the 19th-century castle where this year's series is being held in North Wales

Big bucks! I’m A Celebrity bosses have reportedly forked out millions to make the 19th-century castle where this year’s series is being held in North Wales

According to the Sun, 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.

A show source said: ‘This isn’t a holiday camp for the stars, but without a roof, everyone would have been utterly miserable for three weeks, which would not make great telly.

‘It will still be hard work but slightly warmer than if it snows where they are sleeping. ITV want viewers to largely recognise the show.’

Undergoing transformation: 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 (pictured last month)

Undergoing transformation: 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 (pictured last month)

Pricey! After the coronavirus pandemic dashed hopes of the Australian jungle being this series' setting, bosses hired Gwrych Castle, in Abergele, for £1million for six weeks

Pricey! After the coronavirus pandemic dashed hopes of the Australian jungle being this series’ setting, bosses hired Gwrych Castle, in Abergele, for £1million for six weeks

In pictures obtained by the publication, 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.

MailOnline have contacted I’m A Celebrity for comment. 

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.

Exciting: Kevin Lygo, the Director of Television at ITV, revealed that all stars for this year's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! have been confirmed (hosts Ant and Dec pictured)

Exciting: Kevin Lygo, the Director of Television at ITV, revealed that all stars for this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! have been confirmed (hosts Ant and Dec pictured)

He told The Sun: ‘I certainly didn’t want a year without I’m A Celebrity. We could just about survive without it, but my God it’s a premier, wonderful thing that has done so well over a long period.’

Lygo continued: ‘Australia was always going to be a challenge so we found this extraordinary place in go here in North Wales that’s a sort of beautiful, Disney drawn castle crumbling. We just thought it looks like perfect vacation.’

With the new location, he added that ‘it’ll be fascinating to see what audiences do’ and it will be a ‘great challenge’ for producers to devise new games and tasks. 

Changes: This year's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here will be filmed at Gwrych Castle in North Wales, after being forced to relocate due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Changes: This year’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here will be filmed at Gwrych Castle in North Wales, after being forced to relocate due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that bosses at ITV had emailed the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust’s months ago – but the chairman almost ignored the email because he didn’t believe it was true.

Speaking to North Wales Live, Dr. Mark Baker said: ‘I had an email come through about a month and a half, two months ago. I ignored it initially [though] cause I thought it was spam.’

He eventually double-checked before contacting the show’s location team, with contracts only having been signed on August 26. 

Fans eagerly await to see who will be donning their thermals to spend three weeks camping in the freezing castle.

Confirmed: ITV boss Kevin Lygo assures that all of the as-yet-unnamed stars have been confirmed for this year's vastly different series ¿ despite the change of location

Confirmed: ITV boss Kevin Lygo assures that all of the as-yet-unnamed stars have been confirmed for this year’s vastly different series – despite the change of location

Following the vast success of Netflix series Selling Sunset, odds on star Christine heading into the Welsh castle have been slashed.

The outspoken blonde bombshell would certainly cause fireworks in the camp and is never one to mince words.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes told The Sun: ‘Christine could be about to swap the Hollywood Hills for a haunted Welsh castle if the latest odds are anything to go by with an I’m A Celeb stint potentially on the cards.’ 

Vernon – who is known for hosting TV series All Star Family Fortunes – has also reportedly signed a £250,000 to take part in the series, after being approached by bosses several times.

She's off! Following her exit from the cobbles this summer (pictured), Corrie fans are also hoping that Beverly Callard will be heading to the castle to face some gruelling challenges

She’s off! Following her exit from the cobbles this summer (pictured), Corrie fans are also hoping that Beverly Callard will be heading to the castle to face some gruelling challenges

A source told The Mirror: ‘Everyone’s so pleased to have Vernon on board, he’s a lovely guy, full of down-to-earth northern charm and perfect for the show.’

Following her exit from the cobbles this summer, Corrie fans are also hoping that Beverly Callard will be heading to the castle to face some gruelling challenges.

The actress – who has played Liz McDonald on the soap for 30 years – reportedly delight bosses by saying yes to appearing on the show.

A source told The Mirror: ‘She is such a well-loved ITV face.’

Also among the rumoured names is Boyzone star Keith Duffy, who was reportedly approached by bosses for a second time after his tour was delayed until 2021.

Plans: Also among the rumoured names is Boyzone star Keith Duffy, who was reportedly approached by bosses for a second time after his tour was delayed until 2021

Plans: Also among the rumoured names is Boyzone star Keith Duffy, who was reportedly approached by bosses for a second time after his tour was delayed until 2021

A source told The Sun: ‘Keith has had Zoom meetings with I’m A Celebrity’s booker.

‘Since the location moved from Australia to North Wales it’s been a little more tricky to get people on board but the team are confident they sold it well.’

Another surprise signing would be Good Morning Britain star Andi Peters, who sparked speculation he could be heading to the jungle when he recently hosted a segment from an activity centre.

With the I’m A Celebrity theme playing in the background, speculation was rife about whether he could be following GMB colleague Kate Garraway into the jungle this November.

Katie Price’s ex Kieran Hayler has openly stated he would love to take part in the show, telling new! magazine: ‘I’d love to do it because I’m into the outdoors anyway so for me it would be really cool.

And him! Another surprise signing would be GMB's Andi Peters, who sparked speculation he could be heading to the jungle when he recently hosted a segment from an activity centre

And him! Another surprise signing would be GMB’s Andi Peters, who sparked speculation he could be heading to the jungle when he recently hosted a segment from an activity centre

‘I think it’s just the eating stuff I’d be a bit rubbish at – and it’s closer to home now I’ve heard!’

Strictly Come Dancing pro AJ Pritchard has also been rumoured to be taking part, after quitting the BBC show earlier this year.

EastEnders’ Tamzin Outhwaite is also reportedly on bosses wishlists, after allegedly turning down the chance to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

A source told The Sun: ‘It’s early days with Tamzin but she’s someone producers have discussed going to Oz in the autumn — and she’s told pals she is 100 per cent not taking part in Strictly.’ 

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? star Charles Ingram was also at the top of bookies odds to take part, despite strongly denying the claims. 

I'll do it! Katie Price's ex Kieran Hayler has openly stated he would love to take part in the show

I’ll do it! Katie Price’s ex Kieran Hayler has openly stated he would love to take part in the show

The One Show’s Matt Baker is also among those rumoured to be in talks, after saying goodbye to the evening chat show earlier this year.

As ever there are many names from the world of sport also reportedly in talks with bosses, including Soccer Saturday’s Paul Merson. 

A source told The Sun: ‘Paul is really keen to relaunch his TV career and thinks this is the best way to do it after he’s seen what it has done for his mate Harry Redknapp, but he needs it to be worth his while and is negotiating for a top price.’

And following their sacking from Soccer Saturday on Wednesday, Ladbrokes reported that odds have been slashed on Phil Thompson, Charlie Nicholas, Matt Le Tissier and Scott Minto possibly entering the castle.

Reports: EastEnders' Tamzin Outhwaite is also reportedly on bosses wishlists, after allegedly turning down the chance to appear on Strictly Come Dancing

Reports: EastEnders’ Tamzin Outhwaite is also reportedly on bosses wishlists, after allegedly turning down the chance to appear on Strictly Come Dancing

Questions: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? star Charles Ingram was also at the top of bookies odds to take part, despite strongly denying the claims

Questions: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? star Charles Ingram was also at the top of bookies odds to take part, despite strongly denying the claims

Jessica O’Reilly said: ‘The sacked Sky Sports pundits are clearly going to have a lot of time on their hands which pushes the I’m A Celebrity doors wide open now.’

She added: ‘There’s always one campmate with a link to football, and if Thommo, Charlie, Tiss or Minto spill the beans on their dismissal, it ought to make for great viewing.’

Rounding out the reported names is former Manchester United star Eric Cantona, who was reportedly at the top of bosses wish list for this series.

Show producer Richard Cowles told The Sun: ‘I just like the idea of Eric Cantona talking in French and coming up with really profound things. 

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.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! will return to screens this November on ITV.

In the works: The One Show's Matt Baker is also among those rumoured to be in talks, after saying goodbye to the evening chat show earlier this year

In the works: The One Show’s Matt Baker is also among those rumoured to be in talks, after saying goodbye to the evening chat show earlier this year

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