I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! has been forced to move location this year following the coronavirus pandemic.
And while it was recently announced by ITV bosses that the 2020 series would be taking part at Gwrych Castle, in Abergele, North Wales, it turns out they almost missed their chances at securing the historic filming location.
That’s right, Mark Baker, the boss of the trust which owns the site, has revealed he disregarded the offer as spam when it landed in his inbox.
Chatting to the Mirror, Mark explained: ‘I had an email come through… but I ignored it at first. I thought it was spam.
‘After double-checking, I got in touch with the location guy at ITV and he said it was a reality TV show they wanted to make in the UK, but he couldn’t reveal what it was.’
It wasn’t until weeks later that the 35-year-old was told that ITV wanted to use the site for I’m A Celeb.
‘When I found out what the show was, I thought, “That’s pretty immense,”‘ he pressed. ‘We hope it will open up North Wales to the whole of Britain and further afield.’
The castle has now been closed to the public until the New Year with construction workers already at the venue to get it in shape for when its new residents arrive.
And it appears the line-up of celebs is already secured – and has been since way before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Chatting at the virtual Edinburgh TV Festival, ITV boss Kevin Lygo said: ‘We had booked most of our celebs, we were worried they thought they were going to hot sunny bug-infested Australia and now they are going to north Wales in the dark, but everyone is still there and excited.’
He went on to explain how the network didn’t want to go a whole year without the competition – despite the global crisis.
‘It’s a premier, wonderful thing that has done so well,’ he said of the programme. ‘Australia was always going to be a challenge because of travel, so we started planning early on for what happens if we can’t go.’
He added: ‘We found an extraordinary place, a beautiful Walt Disney castle, crumbling, tough and we just thought this looks like the place.
‘I think it will be fascinating to see what audiences do and to come up with different challenges and tasks, the team I know are stimulated by this and thrilled about it.’
I’m A Celebrity will air later this year on ITV, while Metro.co.uk has reached out to the network for further comment.
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