The head of the preservation trust for the Welsh castle that will host I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! this year has revealed he initially ignored ITV’s email asking to use the property.
The upcoming series of the reality show will see it relocate from the Australian jungle to Gwrych Castle in Wales, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, when ITV first approached Mark Baker, founder of the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust, about the move, he thought the message was spam and didn’t bother replying.
Speaking to Radio Times, he said: “It mentioned a major proposal for a television programme, asking me to call urgently. But in my job I get loads of strange emails from people claiming to be princes of Egypt with millions of pounds.
“I thought it was one of those, so I just left it.”
However, ITV got back in touch, with a deal eventually being struck, which is believed to be worth a reported £300,000.
The fee has provided a valuable cash boost for the castle, which is in need of restoration.
Mr Baker’s Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust bought the derelict building in 2018 for £1 million, according to Radio Times.
He said phase one of the rebuild could cost £10 million and the fee from ITV will pay for just one part of the roof.
Mr Baker added that he has never seen I’m A Celebrity so is not sure how the new site will compare to the old one.
He said: “I know who Ant and Dec are, of course. I remember them from Byker Grove when I was a kid.
“That was the last time I saw them in anything. I don’t watch much TV.”
Among those who will be taking part in this year’s I’m A Celebrity include former Strictly Come Dancing professional AJ Pritchard, fellow soap star Beverley Callard and Olympic runner Sir Mo Farrah.
ITV recently confirmed that one of the contestants on the line-up was still in self-isolation, having recently tested positive for coronavirus.
I’m A Celebrity launches on Sunday 15 November at 9pm on ITV.