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Entertainment ITV provides update on I'm a Celebrity filming in locked down Welsh castle

19:11  30 september  2020
19:11  30 september  2020 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! is due to start filming in Wales but things may have been complicated by new restrictions that have come into force.

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An exact start date for the ITV series hasn't been announced but the broadcaster previously confirmed the show would air in autumn. I'm A Celeb is taking place at Gwrych Castle in Abergele which is in an area that has just been put under local lockdown by the Welsh Government.

Abergele is a small town in the county borough of Conwy, which will be subject to tighter measures as of Thursday, October 1 at 6pm along with Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire.

New local lockdown rules mean people will not be allowed to enter or leave the Conwy county borough area without a "reasonable excuse", such as going to work, and will no longer be able to form, or be in, an extended household or bubble.

It means meeting indoors with anyone who is not part of your household (people you live with) is not allowed in Conwy at the moment.

a castle on top of a lush green field: Gwrych Castle will host this year's series © Getty Images Gwrych Castle will host this year's series

Given the restrictions come into force on October 1 and I'm A Celebrity traditionally airs in November, the local lockdown could make things difficult for the show.

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With bubbles banned at the moment, bringing celebrity contestants, crew and presenters Ant and Dec in for the series, who have spoken about filming in "freezing Wales", may prove a struggle.

It could be the case, of course, that local lockdown restrictions, which are reviewed every two weeks, could be lifted by the time I'm A Celebrity starts filming, which should be later on this autumn.

An ITV spokesperson has since responded to the news, telling WalesOnline: "I'm A Celebrity continues to adhere to all relevant guidelines as well as our own strict Covid protocols."

And as The Mirror points out, ITV has had great success filming soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale under strict guidelines, where sets have been made Covid-safe and official government guidelines have been implemented to ensure the safety of everyone involved above anything else.

Moving this year's filming location, however, has been no easy feat.

I'm A Celebrity bosses reportedly spent millions on turning Gwrych Castle into its Welsh camp after "pulling out all the stops" to try and make the 2020 series happen in Australia.

Director of Entertainment at ITV Studios, Richard Cowles, previously said of the show's move: "We pulled out all the stops to try and make the series happen in Australia.

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"Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and despite us looking at many different contingencies, it became apparent that it just wasn't possible for us to travel and make the show there.

"However, we are all really excited about a UK version of I’m A Celebrity. While it will certainly be different producing the show from the UK, the same tone and feel will remain.

"Our celebrities will probably have to swap shorts for thermals but they can still look forward to a basic diet of rice and beans and plenty of thrills and surprises along the way."

Wales Online has contacted the Welsh Government for comment. Conwy council declined to comment.

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