‘It’s a waiting game’: I’m A Celebrity ‘won’t know until SEPTEMBER if it can return to Australia for the 2021 series because of Covid restrictions’
I’m A Celebrity will reportedly not know if it’s able to a return to its usual home in Australia for the upcoming 2021 series until September.
The hit ITV show, hosted by Ant and Dec, is usually filmed Down Under however it relocated to Gwyrch Castle in north Wales in 2020 amid the pandemic.
According to The Mirror, everyone is thought to be ‘very keen’ to return to the jungle and it is now just a ‘waiting game’ to know if it’ll be possible.
‘It’s a waiting game’: I’m A Celebrity will reportedly not know if it’s able to a return to Australia for the upcoming 2021 series until September (Ant and Dec pictured at Gwyrch Castle in 2020)
One insider said: ‘Everyone is keen to get back Down Under this year but, of course, it depends on what the Australian authorities will allow.
‘We won’t know for sure if we can get back to the Gold Coast until the start of autumn, when things will be much clearer. Until then, it’s a waiting game.’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for I’m A Celebrity for further comment.
Last month, ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed that bosses are hoping the show will return to the jungle as that is how the show is ‘meant to be’.
The jungle: The hit ITV show is usually filmed Down Under however it relocated to Gwyrch Castle in north Wales in 2020 amid the pandemic (the Australian camp pictured in 2019)
Speaking as the network published its group annual results, she said: ‘If we can go back to Australia – and this show is meant to be in Australia – then that’s what we’ll do. We have a very good plan if not, as we have already done it once (in the castle).’
Prior to the confirmation, hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly sparked claims that this year’s series will be returning to Wales.
The presenting duo said they’d be ‘very happy’ to remain in the UK for filming when the series returns later this year, joking they ‘wouldn’t miss the jet lag’.
Last year’s I’m A Celebrity was relocated to Gwrych Castle in Wales after plans to record the usual show in Australia became impossible due to COVID.
Speaking to Digital Spy magazine, Ant said: ‘If during coronavirus we have to stay put and do it in Wales again, I’d be very happy.
Going back for round two? There has been speculation the show will return to Gwrych Castle in Wales for the 2021 series with reports claiming ITV have already booked it as a backup
They’d stay! Ant and Dec also said they’d be ‘very happy’ to remain in the UK for filming when the series returns later this year, joking they ‘wouldn’t miss the jet lag’
‘We were very welcomed in Wales. There were cardboard cut-outs of me and Dec in the butcher’s, and the local school did a tribute. We’d happily go back there. We’d miss the sunshine, mind.’
Dec added that he ‘wouldn’t be disappointed’ if filming was once again taking place in Wales later this year, adding: ‘The people in Wales were lovely…
‘They made us feel very welcome. I had a lovely time. I will miss the sunshine, but I will not miss the jet lag of coming back from Australia.’
Last year’s I’m A Celebrity saw author Giovanna Fletcher crowned series champion after 12 celebrities moved into the derelict Gwrych Castle.
While it was reported in February that ITV bosses had already secured use of the castle for another series if the Covid crisis prevented a return to Australia.
Chatting away: ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed that bosses are hoping the show will return to the jungle as that is how the show is ‘meant to be’ (pictured in 2018)
A source told The Sun: ‘Ultimately they are at the mercy of COVID-19 restrictions. Formally an agreement is in place for the use of Gwrych Castle this year. Should the show need to be held there again it has all got the green light.’
ITV hired the 19th century castle for six weeks in 2020, costing £1million, after Covid-19 ruled out the usual setting in Australia. The network also announced an extreme Covid Management Plan to ensure the series ran smoothly.
This included the celebrities being tested every three days and crew members wearing proximity buzzers, masks and getting temperature checks on arrival.
The celebrities also had to isolate for two weeks ahead of their arrival. The new venue was warmly received by viewers, with some even calling for the show to make Wales its new permanent home.
Queen of the Castle: Giovanna Fletcher won the 2020 series which was held at Gwyrch Castle in north Wales (pictured with Ant and Dec after being crowned the winner)