Preparations for the next I’m A Celebrity series continued on Thursday as aerial footage showed new areas of the Gwrych Castle camp in North Wales under construction.
The Grade I listed 19th-century country house, located near Abergele in scenic County Conwy, will host the long-running ITV show for the second year in a row due to travel restrictions surrounding its usual home on the east coast from Australia, currently in the midst of another lockdown.
New images show builders at work as they turn the crumbling fortress ready for famous residents for the next series in November, with new additions including an additional room, entrance and staircase.
Changes: Preparations for the next I’m A Celebrity series continued on Thursday as aerial footage showed new areas of Gwrych Castle camp in North Wales under construction
Timber structures are erected in the yard near the campsite where famous campmates usually congregate, with a separate room apparently under construction.
It’s unclear if the space is a backdrop for tasks or a whole new camp area.
Meanwhile, a replica of the entrance to the abandoned castle is being built to the right of this new room, with an arch clearly visible on the plans.
The builders are pictured working hard in the yard as they transformed the area ready to welcome famous faces this winter.
Location: The Grade I listed 19th-century country house near Abergele in County Conwy, North Wales, will host the long-running ITV show for the second year in a row
In addition to the new structures which are the main modifications of the camp, wooden panels surround the well where the celebrities draw their water.
While a collection of lumber and other building materials can be found next to the campers’ dunny (toilet), which so far has not been touched prior to the series.
A black tarp covers other areas of the courtyard as preparations for the new show continue.
As part of the preparations for the upcoming series, again hosted by Ant and Dec, a new staircase has been built in the center of the medieval-style castle, apparently to give easier and faster access to other parts of the mansion. .
Transformation: New images show builders at work as they transform the crumbling fortress ready for famous residents for the next series in November, with new additions including an additional room, entrance and staircase
New look: Wooden structures are erected in the yard near the campsite where famous campmates usually congregate, with a separate room that appears to be under construction
Redesign: Meanwhile, a replica of the entrance to the abandoned castle is being built to the right of this new room, with an arch clearly visible on the plans
Elsewhere, a brand new enclosure can be seen built behind the main entrance to Gwrych Castle, making way for a large courtyard.
The plethora of aerial images also reveal a large black structure seen on one side of the castle, while a huge white tent is erected on the other.
The huge gazebo would house the staff canteen and production units for the show.
Throughout the sprawling 236-acre estate, various vehicles are stacked with scaffolding and other construction equipment as builders prepare the old castle to be suitable for famous competitors and the many castle trials they will face.
Among the stars who would set foot in the castle in its second consecutive year of hosting the series include Liberty Poole, Love Island favorite, former EastEnders actor Jake Wood, choreographer Arlene Phillips and the former UKTN Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin.
Busy: Preparations for the next I’m A Celebrity series continued on Thursday as aerial footage showed new areas of Gwrych Castle camp in North Wales under construction
While other famous names are said to be in the running are Gogglebox’s Tom Malone Jr, Line Of Duty star Vicky McClure, Chaser Jenny Ryan, Corrie’s ex-star Lucy Fallon and Katie Price’s ex-husband Kieran Hayler. .
ITV bosses face a race against time to renovate the dilapidated building – which is now closed to the public – and surrounding areas ahead of the new series set to begin in November.
The reality show, which typically films in the Australian wilderness, has been forced to move to the dilapidated castle over fears Australia will close its borders due to the ongoing pandemic.
ITV producers have since filed an extensive planning request with authorities to make the country house habitable in time for the new series.
Meanwhile, it’s been reported that the bosses of I’m A Celebrity are already in talks to secure Gwrych Castle for a third year in a row amid fears the coronavirus may cast doubt on the hit series.
Hosts: Ant and Dec are set to headline the show again in November. who moved to Gwrych Castle for the second year in a row
Despite hopes that this year’s episode would see the contestants travel to the beloved Australian jungle, the bosses were forced to abandon their plans again.
Now it looks like the hell of the country’s lockdown may force fans to accept a third year of entertainment and games from the Welsh winter ensemble.
A TV insider told The Sun: “At this time last year, the prospect of me not being a celebrity not returning to Australia and having to go back to the castle seemed slim.
“Now the show is returning to Gwrych after ITV had the foresight to book for a second series – and they want to make sure they’re prepared for the worst in 2022 as well.
“Getting back to Oz is always the goal. But these are bosses taking all possible steps to ensure that Britain’s favorite TV show stays on our screens. They will therefore probably approach the owners of the castle imminently.
Formerly the country retreat of aristocrat Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh, the castle was saved from decay by the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust in 2018.
The castle is said to be haunted by the Countess of Dundonald who owned it until her death in 1926.
Known as The Woman in White, she was reportedly angry with her husband for stripping the castle of valuables and selling them. A ghostly white figure was seen at the windows.
The last series of I’m A Celeb, won by Giovanna Fletcher, 35, was an audience success as it attracted 14.3 million viewers. It ended up being the second most watched series in the series’ history, which began in 2002.
Back then: Last year’s series – won by Giovanna Fletcher (pictured in 2020) against the backdrop of the country’s Gwrych Castle – was a runaway success despite leaving the jungle amid restrictions in place from the coronavirus pandemic