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I’m A Celebrity 2021: Aerial shots of Gwrych Castle show new areas being constructed

Preparations for the upcoming series of I’m A Celebrity continued on Thursday as aerial images showed new areas of the camp in Gwrych Castle, north Wales, being built.

The Grade I listed 19th-century country house, located near Abergele in picturesque Conwy County will play host to the long-running ITV show for the second consecutive year due to travel restrictions surrounding its usual home on Australia’s east coast, currently in the midst of another lockdown.

New pictures show builders hard at work as they transform the crumbling fortress ready for the celebrity inhabitants for the upcoming series in November, with a new additions featuring an extra room, entrance and staircase, while a large black box structured is pictured on the grounds.

Changes: Preparations for the upcoming series of I’m A Celebrity continued on Thursday as aerial images showed new areas of the camp in Gwrych Castle, north Wales, being built

Wooden structures are being erected in the courtyard near the campsite where the famous campmates usually congregate, with a separate room seemingly being constructed. 

It’s not known whether the space a backdrop for tasks or a brand new camp area. 

Meanwhile, a replica of the derelict castle’s entrance is being constructed to the right of this new room, with an archway clearly visible in the shots.

Builders are pictured working hard in the courtyard as they transformed the area ready for the famous faces to move in this winter. 

Big things happening: A large black box structure is pictured in the grounds of the castle, though it's unknown what its purpose is

Big things happening: A large black box structure is pictured in the grounds of the castle, though it’s unknown what its purpose is 

Location: The Grade I listed 19th-century country house, located near Abergele in Conwy County, north Wales, will play host to the long-running ITV show for the second consecutive year (pictured, a new staircase being built)

Location: The Grade I listed 19th-century country house, located near Abergele in Conwy County, north Wales, will play host to the long-running ITV show for the second consecutive year (pictured, a new staircase being built)

As well as the new structures which form the main changes in the camp, wooden panels are seen surrounding the well where the celebrities collect their water. 

While a collection of wood and other building materials lie beside the campers’ dunny (toilet), which so far remains untouched ahead of the series. 

Black tarpaulin covers up other areas of the courtyard as preparations for the new show plough steadily on.  

In further preparations for the upcoming series, once again hosted by Ant and Dec, a new staircase has been built in the centre of the medieval style castle, seemingly to give easier and quicker access to other parts of the abode. 

Transformation: New pictures show builders hard at work as they transform the crumbling fortress ready for the celebrity inhabitants for the upcoming series in November, with a new additions featuring an extra room, entrance and staircase

Transformation: New pictures show builders hard at work as they transform the crumbling fortress ready for the celebrity inhabitants for the upcoming series in November, with a new additions featuring an extra room, entrance and staircase

New look: Wooden structures are being erected in the courtyard near the campsite where the famous campmates usually congregate, with a separate room seemingly being constructed

New look: Wooden structures are being erected in the courtyard near the campsite where the famous campmates usually congregate, with a separate room seemingly being constructed

Revamp: Meanwhile, a replica of the derelict castle's entrance is being constructed to the right of this new room, with an archway clearly visible in the shots

Revamp: Meanwhile, a replica of the derelict castle’s entrance is being constructed to the right of this new room, with an archway clearly visible in the shots

Elsewhere, a whole new enclosure can be seen constructed behind the main entrance to Gwrych Castle, making way for a large courtyard area. 

The plethora of aerial images also reveal a large black structure in seen to one side of the castle, while a huge white tent is erected on the other.

The enormous gazebo is thought to house the staff canteen and the show’s production units.

Throughout the sprawling 236 acre estate, various vehicles are seen piled high with scaffolding and other building equipment as builders readied the ancient castle to be fit for the celebrity contestants and the numerous castle trials they’ll face. 

MailOnline have contacted I’m A Celebrity representatives, who declined to comment.  

Stars thought to be setting foot in the castle amid its second consecutive year of hosting the series include Love Island favourite Liberty Poole, former EastEnders actor Jake Wood, choreographer Arlene Phillips and ex-BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin. 

Busy: Builders are pictured working hard in the courtyard as they transformed the area ready for the famous faces to move in this winter

Busy: Builders are pictured working hard in the courtyard as they transformed the area ready for the famous faces to move in this winter

The only way is up: In further preparations for the upcoming series, once again hosted by Ant and Dec, a new staircase has been built in the centre of the medieval style castle, seemingly to give easier and quicker access to other parts of the abode

The only way is up: In further preparations for the upcoming series, once again hosted by Ant and Dec, a new staircase has been built in the centre of the medieval style castle, seemingly to give easier and quicker access to other parts of the abode

While other famous names reported to be in the running are Gogglebox’s Tom Malone Jr, Line Of Duty star Vicky McClure, Chaser Jenny Ryan, ex-Corrie star Lucy Fallon and Katie Price’s ex-husband Kieran Hayler.

ITV bosses are facing a scramble against time to renovate the dilapidated building – which is now closed to the public – and its surrounding areas ahead of the new series expected to begin in November.

The reality show, which usually films in the Australian wilderness, was forced to relocate to the dilapidated castle following fears Australia could shut its borders because of the ongoing pandemic.

ITV producers have since filed an extensive planning application to the authorities in order to make the country house inhabitable in time for the new series.

Meanwhile, it’s been reported that I’m A Celebrity bosses are already in talks to secure Gwrych Castle for a third year running due to fears of the coronavirus plunging the hit series into doubt. 

Hosts: Ant and Dec are set to front the show again in November. which has been relocated to Gwrych Castle for the second consecutive year

Hosts: Ant and Dec are set to front the show again in November. which has been relocated to Gwrych Castle for the second consecutive year

Despite hopes that this year’s instalment would see the contestants taking to the much-loved Aussie jungle, bosses were forced to abort plans yet again.

Now, it seems the country’s lockdown hell may force fans to accept a third year of fun-and-games from the wintery Welsh set.

A TV insider told The Sun: ‘This time last year, the prospect of I’m A Celebrity not returning to Australia and having to return to the castle seemed slim.

‘Now the show is going back to Gwrych after ITV had the foresight to reserve is for a second series – and they want to make sure they’re equally prepared for the worst in 2022.

‘Going back to Oz is still the goal. But this is about bosses taking every step possible to ensure Britain’s favourite TV show stays on our screens. So they’re likely to approach the castle owners imminently.’ 

Formerly the country retreat of aristocrat Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh, the castle was saved from disrepair by Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust in 2018.

The castle is said to be haunted by the Countess of Dundonald who owned the building until her death in 1926.

Known as The Woman in White, she is said to have been angry at her husband for stripping the castle of valuables and selling them. A ghostly white figure has been seen at the windows.

The last series of I’m A Celeb, won by Giovanna Fletcher, 35, was a ratings hit as it got 14.3 million viewers. It ended up being the second most watched series in the history of the show, which started in 2002. 

Back then: Last year's series - won by Giovanna Fletcher (pictured in 2020) in the backdrop of the country's Gwrych Castle - was a roaring success despite its move from the jungle amid restrictions in place from the coronavirus pandemic

Back then: Last year’s series – won by Giovanna Fletcher (pictured in 2020) in the backdrop of the country’s Gwrych Castle – was a roaring success despite its move from the jungle amid restrictions in place from the coronavirus pandemic

 

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