As a country famed for its beautiful scenery and exceptional hospitality, no visitor should arrive in Wales expecting a tough experience. The exception to this rule might be the host of celebrities taking part in this year’s edition of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
The long-running ITV ‘survival-style’ reality show, which is famed for putting a cast of celebs through a series of gruelling challenges, is returning to Wales for a second time, having filmed the 2020 series in the country.
Historically, the show has been filmed in Springbrook National Park, Australia, but Covid restrictions on travel last year meant a location closer to home was needed, ultimately resulting in Gwrych Castle, near Abergele in Conwy, being selected to serve as the ‘camp’ where the celebrities live during the show’s roughly three-week run.
The Grade-I listed Gwrych Castle is no stranger to drama, having been on the brink of ruin several times since it was first built in 1822. The 250-acre property has also had a number of guises, including serving as a medieval entertainment centre (with jousting displays), as well as nearly becoming an opera centre and hotel, before being purchased by the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust in 2018 and opened to the public.
Speaking about returning to Gwrych Castle for a second time, ITV’s Head of Entertainment, Katie Rawcliffe, told the BBC, "We've always said we have contingencies in place for the series if the Covid situation continued to bring uncertainty, and after a highly successful run at the castle last year we're pleased that we can return there.”
Host Ant McPartlin was excited to return to film in Wales, citing the warm welcome the crew received from local people during the filming of the previous series.
The show kicked off this week, with celebrities including presenter Richard Madeley, singer Frankie Bridge and Olympic diver Matty Lee among this year’s cast.
If you're interested in taking on your own series of Welsh challenges, Visit Wales has inspiration for you: Will you face a celebrity inspired 'trial' in Wales?
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