I'm A Celebrity 2020: How Is The New Series Actually Going To Work?

A group of stars will be setting up camp at a remote castle in Wales instead of the Australian jungle.

We’re less than a week away from a brand new series of I’m A Celebrity, although the upcoming run is not going to look like any that have come before it.

Due to travel restrictions and coronavirus guidelines, producers have had to think outside the box in order for the show to go ahead, the biggest change being a switch in its usual location.

For anyone who’s feeling a bit puzzled about how the 20th series (yes, 20th!) of I’m A Celebrity is going to work, hopefully this should clear up a few of your questions...

So, it’s not going to be in the Australian jungle this year, then?

No. For the first time in I’m A Celebrity history, the show has been moved from its usual location in the Australian jungle to a new setting a little closer to home.

More specifically, the celebrities will be setting up camp at Gwrych Castle in the Welsh countryside, a site which many have even claimed is haunted.

Gwyrch Castle is the new home of I'm A Celebrity
Gwyrch Castle is the new home of I'm A Celebrity
Christopher Furlong via Getty Images

And the lockdown in Wales isn’t going to be a problem?

Apparently not. Last month, a spokesperson for Gwrych Castle insisted the show would not be affected by the current lockdown in Wales, which is due to end on 9 November, just shy of a week before the new series launches.

Contestants are currently reported to be self-isolating before they arrive in the castle.

How are the production team making it work?

Speaking at a recent Royal Television Society event, ITV Studios entertainment director Richard Cowles said: “Everyone’s got proximity monitors on them so basically they can’t come within two metres of each other without it buzzing and flashing and reminding them to step away.

“In terms of the technology, we’ve for example, with the castle itself, we’ve mapped that completely remotely so we can get all of our camera positions and everything done off-site without having to go there.

“We have basically created a whole virtual walk through of that castle, so all of the set can be built remotely back here and then transported up there.”

He continued: “All the camera positions, the lens length – all of that sort of stuff can be done. We’re even going to have our edits in London to try to reduce the number of people travelling to Wales and to reduce the number of people that could potentially spread Covid.”

Are Ant and Dec going to be back?

Thankfully, one thing that’s staying the same with I’m A Celebrity is its presenting duo, Ant and Dec. To get us ready for the new Wales-based series, the pair have filmed a number of promotional videos which see them exploring their new surroundings…

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Vick Hope will also front a new online show The Daily Drop, offering fans behind-the-scenes news and gossip from the castle.

Prior to the show’s change of location being announced, it was confirmed that ITV2 spin-off show Extra Camp had been axed.

What about Bushtucker Trials?

It was recently reported that the gruesome challenges that stars have to undertake to win food on I’m A Celebrity could have a British twist this time around, with tripe and trotters potentially on the menu, rather than the usual Australian delicacies.

Another small tweak is the fact that, for the first time, contestants will be vying for the title of King or Queen of the Castle, rather than usual Jungle crown.

Which celebrities are on the line-up?

Also appearing will be Olympian Sir Mo Farrah, Radio 1 presenter Jordan North, Paralympian Hollie Arnold, podcast host Giovanna Fletcher and entertainer Shane Richie.

The cast of I'm A Celebrity 2020
The cast of I'm A Celebrity 2020

Last month, opera star Russell Watson and West End performer Ruthie Henshall were also tipped for the show, after being spotted at an apparent I’m A Celebrity photo-shoot.

It’s thought they may be entering the castle later down the line, as potential surprise additions.

Joining them were opera star Russell Watson, Paralympian Hollie Arnold and West End performer Ruthie Henshall.

Come on then, when does the new series of I’m A Celebrity start?

I’m A Celebrity launches on Sunday 15 November at 9pm on ITV.

A week earlier, you can also catch the one-off special I’m A Celebrity: A Jungle Story, which will look back at some of the highlights from the last 19 series, and see Ant and Dec taking on their very first Bushtucker Trial.