With the series set to start on Nov. 15, everything
-wise is really beginning to heat up. I'm of course not referring to the weather, as this year's competition is being held in Wales rather than sunny Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions, but anticipation around the new location, and trials is about to reach fever pitch, especially as I'm A Celebrity the celebrity line up has finally been revealed.
As mentioned, this year will mark the first time celebs haven't travelled across the globe to be treated to East Australia's warmer climes. Instead, they'll be setting up camp on the north coast of Wales in
Gwrych Castle. The venue hosts events all year, including a ghost hunt... so sounds like the celebrities will be shacking up with some supernatural beings this year.
Richard Cowles, Director of Entertainment at ITV Studios, said of the choice of location: "The Australian jungle is such an integral part of the show it was a big challenge to find a UK location where we could continue to deliver what viewers love about
I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! But Gwrych will definitely do that."
Ant and Dec are already on-location, but what about the celebrities? ITV has officially announced the 2020 lineup, so here’s what we know so far. Shane Richie Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images
This isn’t the first time and comedian Shane Richie has been asked to do
I’m A Celeb, but seeing as the show turns 20 this year he thought now was the right time. “My kids were old enough to travel to Australia and they wanted to meet Ant and Dec! We were all really excited,” he tells ITV.
While the Richie family won’t be jetting off down under due to the ongoing pandemic, the actor is excited to see how the castle will differ from the jungle. “You aren’t going to know what to expect because we are now going to North Wales where sitting around a roaring fire is going to be more important than any other year because it will be cold and dark.”
Jessica Plummer SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Following her exit from
EastEnders in September, where she played hairdresser Chantelle Atkins, Jessica Plummer has stunned her family and friends by appearing on the show. “My family are all like ‘Jess seriously, you are such a scaredy-cat and you are so precious about your luxuries, what are you signing up for?!’”
While the soap star is excited about the challenge, she is apprehensive of being apart from her four-year-old daughter. “I am going to miss her more than anything,” she told ITV. “But I know she will be able to see me on TV and she will get me through it.”
Plummer was also
a member of girl group Neon Jungle from 2013 to 2015. Giovanna Fletcher British Podcast Awards/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Author and podcaster Giovanna Fletcher is very well prepared for her time in the castle, having already practised the dreaded eating trials with runner beans. “It’s where we pretend we are doing an eating trial but actually we are eating vegetables really fast!”
She’s also received some valuable advice from Dougie Poynter, her husband Tom Fletcher’s McFly bandmate. “He doesn’t think I’m bonkers going in as he knows how much I love doing things like this,” Fletcher told ITV in a statement. “I’ve done treks in the past and I know how great lifestyle things like this can be important for mental health.”
Victoria Derbyshire Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images/Getty Images
After beating cancer in 2017, BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire has found she is saying “yes” to more daring things, and
I’m A Celeb is as daring as it gets. “This is a mad thrill adventure that I want to take part in,” Derbyshire told ITV. “Because of cancer, I know more than lots of people, life is short. I am now saying ‘yes’ to stuff I wouldn’t have done previously.”
“And if I don’t do my boys proud, I will never live it down!” she added.
Mo Farah Pool/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Olympic legend Mo Farah is set to make his first appearance on reality TV, and can’t wait for the challenge. “I’ve watched it on telly and thought to myself I would like to challenge myself and see what I can do — and so that is the whole reason behind it,” he explained.
Aware that people will be surprised to see him in such a different context, Farah wants to show viewers a different side of himself away from his sporting achievements. “It’s so out of my comfort zone but I just want to go in there and be myself.”
Hollie Arnold Bryn Lennon/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Joining Mo Farah is Paralympian Hollie Arnold, the javelin thrower who took home the gold medal at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. Determined to not be defined by her disability, Arnold is looking to inspire viewers and “show people nothing stops me and it shouldn’t stop anyone else either.”
Beverly Callard Mark Robert Milan/GC Images/Getty Images
Best known for her role as
Corrie’s Liz McDonald, Callard reckons viewers will get the shock of their lives once they realise how much she differs from her character. “I think as I have played Liz for so long, people thinking I am quite glamorous and they think I am covered in make-up all the time,” she said.
Like Richie, Callard has been asked to appear on the show countless times before, “And normally, I would have said ‘thank you but no thank you.’ But this year, I decided to go for it.”
Vernon Kay Alex Burstow/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Vernon Kay has been a regular face on many popular game shows, and is a former BBC Radio 1 and T4 presenter. Kay is married to
Strictly Come Dancing’s Tess Daly, and is entering the castle to make his family proud.
“I am excited about doing
I’m A Celebrity,” he told ITV. “The physical and mental challenges will be really interesting. Mainly though I am doing it for my daughters, Phoebe and Amber.” AJ Pritchard Jeff Spicer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images The Sun has reported that former to hit our screens this year, as he made an appearance at the photoshoot everyone’s talking about currently. However, Strictly pro AJ can also be expected the star recently batted away these rumours on Lorraine, so it’s looking increasingly unlikely.
batting away rumours on , AJ Pritchard is officially heading to North Wales. Describing his appearance as a “childhood dream come true”, Pritchard is looking forward to showing viewers a different side to himself. “People see me on Lorraine Strictly with fake tan and sparkles but nobody knows me,” he told ITV. “It will be nice for people to see me and get to know who I am.” Jordan North Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Radio 1 presenter Jordan North is this year’s resident DJ, and is more excited about the prospect of meeting “childhood heroes” Ant and Dec than the show itself. “I’ve been watching this show ever since it started, I can remember Kerry Katona doing it all those years go!” he said.
North’s co-host Emily Atack, who starred in the 2018 series, has already given him plenty of pointers. “[She] talked so lovingly about it all and you can’t turn something like this down.”
Russell Watson Paul Morigi/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Opera singer Russell Watson was one of two latecomers to arrive at the castle on Nov. 17. Speaking to
Metro about his appearance on the show, Watson said: " I’ve been asked six times. got asked at the beginning of this year, before covid, and I don’t know why, but this year it felt like a different challenge."
He added: "‘I fancied doing something different. I’m known for my singing and being on stage and my classical repertoire, but I don’t think anybody has really got to know my personality really well."
Ruthie Henshall Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Ruthie Henshall entered the castle with Watson as another surprise latecomer. Henshall is a West End singer and dancer whose credits include
Les Misérables and Billy Elliot. The star also made headlines in the early 00s for dating Prince Edward.
Speaking about her reasons for going on
I'm A Celeb, Henshall told Metro: "I think it’s such a life experience. How often are you going to get someone coming up to you saying we’re going to put you through your paces and scare you silly and test everything about you? I thought it would be a real hoot and so lovely to meet a bunch of people who aren’t really in my arena."
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 29, 2020