I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! will boast different look when it returns to screens this winter, as filming has been moved from Australia’s balmy Queensland to a village in north Wales.
While viewers have become accustomed to seeing celebrities boost their careers by donning bikinis and going shirtless as they sweat out in the Jungle, the new batch will likely need to pack thermals for the new series.
And as the stars settle into their temporary digs, they will no longer get the opportunity to luxuriate in the daily delight of as an outdoor shower, as they will now be bathing in a primitive tin tub, according to The Sun.
Changes: This year’s series of I’m A Celebrity will be filmed in the north of Wales, with the show making some major changes to the usual set up
Restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced ITV to switch locations and has resulted in major changes to production, affecting everything from what food challenges stars will do to where they will sleep during filming.
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.
And longtime hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly are sure to have their tongues tied when they return to filming, as they’ll be in based in a village called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
Sources told MailOnline that the new series will be filmed in an area close to Ewloe in north Wales, though it is yet to be confirmed by ITV.
So long: There won’t be any jungle showers for the contestants this year, with them instead having to wash in a tin tub. Katie Price is pictured during her second stint in the jungle in 2009
New location: The show will be filmed in the ruins of an old castle, with the crew making changes to the camp layout to accommodate the cold weather (stock picture)
Speaking with The Sun, a source insisted that despite the changes the production team are committed to making the new show as enthralling as others.
They said: ‘Ant and Dec and the same production team are all on board and everyone is 110 per cent dedicated to making this series as brilliant as all the others.’
Although celebrities can now escape the scary critters of the Australian jungle, they won’t be able to escape some of the gruelling trials.
Instead, it is thought that they will be feasting on sheep testicles and other local ‘cuisine’, or having to compete for added luxuries such as hot water.
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 contrasting to the blistering heat in the Australian jungle 22C (71.6F).
That’ll be interesting! The bushtucker trials will also be adapted to include local delicacies and things such as sheeps testicles (pictured is Rebekah Vardy in 2017)
Fine dining: Witchetty grubs and lamb’s brain have been among the stomach-churning dishes on offer in the past. With the show moving to Wales, the culinary offerings are expected to have something of a more local flavour
Contingency plans will be put in place to combat drastic weather changes including make shift huts when they need protection from the elements.
Family and friends will also miss out on the opportunity to travel abroad and stay in a luxury hotel as they support their loved one from the sidelines.
The winners title of King or Queen of the Jungle will also be replaced with the last person standing being crowned King or Queen of the Castle, as the crew aim to retain much of the original features of the show.
Even the stars’ I’m A Celeb kit will have a familiar look, however they will have to wear thermal layers to keep them warm underneath in the cold Welsh winter.
Despite all the changes, it has been suggested that relocating to Wales could save ITV a considerable amount of money, which could then be used to get bigger-name stars.
Bikini: Stars such as Myleene Klass (pictured left in 2006) and Vicky Pattison Ferne McCann (pictured right in 2015) helped make bikini-clad showers something of a tradition on the long-running ITV show
Although the broadcaster will still have to convince them that spending three weeks in the cold countryside is as doable as three weeks in Australia.
Following the news that filming for this year’s I’m A Celeb will be moving to Wales, fans took to Twitter in droves to share their reactions, with many taking on a comedic tone.
Wrote one: ‘If I’m a celebrity is being made in the UK this year what ‘critters’ will they terrify the contestants with – wasps, moths and pigeons?’
‘So I’m A Celebrity is going to be in Britain,’ stated another. ‘So trials will involved sharing a fly tipped chest freezer with a mildly disgruntled stoat and eating tripe.’
It will be back! Last week ITV confirmed that the new series of I’m A Celebrity would go ahead later this year (2019 winner Jacqueline Jossa pictured)
Fans: Following the announcement of the new location, fans took to Twitter to share their reactions, many of them comedic
Comparing the upcoming series to an all-British pursuit, a third fan of the long-running show wrote: ‘So it’s basically I’m a celebrity doing my Duke of Edinburgh award camping in the country side.’
Producers on the show recently revealed that lockdown restrictions made it impossible to execute another series in Australia.
A show source said: ‘It’s been a dynamic and fast-changing situation. What is OK one day is impossible the next. The team have had many, many different contingency plans in play to deal with all the various possibilities that Covid-19 has presented.
‘However as time went on it became increasingly obvious that as one problem is solved, another appeared and there came a point where producers had to make tough decisions.’
I’m A Celeb: The most memorable challenges and trials
As fans have witnessed over the years, vying for a place among I’m A Celeb’s illustrious monarchy is no walk in the park – thanks in no small part to the daily bushtucker trails and challenges. Ranging from phobia-inducing to downright stomach churning, stars the trials have stretched stars’ limits, as they get acquainted with – and consume – unspeakable creature parts and creepy-crawlies. Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable.
FATIMA WHITBREAD NOSE BEST
Having scooped two medals for Great Britain in the Olympics as a celebrated javelin thrower, it was all but expected that the star would be among the more formidable of 2011’s contestants. However, nobody was prepared to see her eject a live cockroach through one of her nostrils (following assistance from Dr Bob) after completing the Fill Your Face trial, during which her face was immersed in a bowl filled with the critters.
ADAM THOMAS GETS MOUTHY WITH A SPIDER (2016)
Showing his commitment to helping his team secure warm and tasty meals, the actor endured quite the unappetising encounter, when he held a live water spider in his mouth for several seconds. Visibly petrified the star quivered his way through the stomach-churning task, winning praise from his understandably impressed campmates as he eventually emerged victorious. The probable silver lining in the creepy crawly close encounter was that he wasn’t required to eat it.
GEMMA COLLINS SORELY SOARS TO NEW HEIGHTS (2014)
Few could forget the TOWIE star’s highly emotional (and remarkably short-lived) stint on the ITV ratings juggernaut. But the usually bubbly Essex girl looked ready to throw in the towel before she even arrived in the Jungle, as the tears flowed while participating in the opening Sky Dive. Mascara streamed down her deep tanned cheeks as she protested from her helicopter seat about making the adventurous arrival, which needn’t have happened at all as she quit after just three days (and several meals of bland porridge).
GEORGE TAKEI TACKLES KANGAROO TACKLE (2008)
While it’s all but an expectation that celebrities participating in the show will be asked to munch on many an unpleasant dish, it’s common to see them wince and protest when faced with the reality. However, the Star Trek legend showed no such signs as he chewed (and chewed) some more on the culinary delight that is kangaroo penis. After quite the struggle, the American actor commented, ‘It’s rubbery,’ leaving hosts Ant and Dec laughing raucously at his seemingly nonplussed assessment.
DEAN GAFFNEY’S UNPAMPERED SPA SESSION (2006)
The former EastEnders star appeared in some of the most dramatic scenes of his career, when he screamed and wretched his way through the Spa Challenge. Of course, while it sounds luxurious, this is I’m A Celeb we’re talking about. Cue the creepy-crawlies. With Ant and Dec giggling just feet away, Dean’s reaction to having to partake in the task was as entertaining as the challenge itself. ‘Is this a wind-up?’ Dean asked, on learning of his task. ‘I’ve genuinely thrown up about four times.’
On Sunday, Australia declared that the state of Victoria is a ‘state of disaster’ and have tightened the reigns on lockdown restrictions.
Queensland have also shut their border and some airlines have stopped flying to Brisbane for September.
I’m A Celebrity has been filmed at the jungle in Murwillumbah, Queensland, since 2003 with a vast crew of more than 100 people bringing the beloved programme to screens.
The crew usually stay in Coolangatta, Queensland, while the show is filmed just across the border in New South Wales.
With the shows cast and crew being spread across two states, any restrictions on travel could cause a major problem.
No bugs this time! I’m A Celebrity has been previously filmed at the jungle in Murwillumbah, Queensland since 2003 (the 2019 camp is pictured)
The series usually runs for three weeks, and is expected to begin sometime in November.
Speaking on Friday after the show’s move to the UK was confirmed Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Television said: ‘We announced last week that we were doing all we could to make the series and I’m thrilled that we can bring the show to viewers albeit not in the jungle.
‘We have a great team both on and off screen and I know they will produce a hugely entertaining series.’
Richard Cowles, Director of Entertainment at ITV Studios said: ‘We pulled out all the stops to try and make the series happen in Australia.
Best bits: The channel has also announced a one-off documentary called I’m A Celebrity: A Jungle Story, which will celebrate the best moments of the show’s stellar 19 year history
‘Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and despite us looking at many different contingencies, it became apparent that it just wasn’t possible for us to travel and make the show there.
‘However, we are all really excited about a UK version of I’m A Celebrity. While it will certainly be different producing the show from the UK, the same tone and feel will remain.
‘Our celebrities will probably have to swap shorts for thermals but they can still look forward to a basic diet of rice and beans and plenty of thrills and surprises along the way.’
I’m A Celebrity premiered in 2002 and has been a success every year since, averaging more than 10 million viewers per episode.
Last year’s finale, which saw former EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa crowned Queen of the Jungle, was the most watched TV show of 2019.
Jacqueline beat out Coronation Street star Andy Whyment and presenter Roman Kemp in the final.
Other well-known stars who took part in the most recent series included reality star Caitlyn Jenner, Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle and Good Morning Britain’s Kate Garraway.
Already rumours are rife about who could be taking part this year, with stars including Vernon Kay, AJ Pritchard and Tamzin Outhwaite all reported to be in talks with show bosses.
Up in the air: Insiders were unclear whether the show would go ahead later this year after the TV industry was thrown into chaos by COVID-19 (the 2019 cast are pictured)