The actor, 48, who departed his role as Max Branning earlier this year, has allegedly met with show bosses about entering the jungle, and feels it would be a ‘great challenge for him.’
It comes after reports in May that ITV bosses were given the green light for I’m A Celebrity to return to the Australian jungle later this year, after being relocated to Wales in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.
Heading to the jungle? EastEnders star Jake Wood, 48, is reportedly in advanced talks to appear on the upcoming series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here
A source told The Sun: ‘He would love to go into the jungle. “He thinks it would be a great challenge for him and he has of course seen how well other EastEnders stars have done on the series.’
Another added: ‘The casting team have booked half of the campmates already and have been bragging about some phenomenal names.’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Jake Wood and I’m A Celebrity for comment.
Exciting! The actor has allegedly met with show bosses about entering the jungle, and feels it would be a ‘great challenge for him
Exit: Jake departed his longtime role as Max Branning on EastEnders earlier this year, after over a decade in Albert Square
It comes following reports that I‘m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here has been given the green light from Australian border force to return to the jungle.
The show, hosted by Ant and Dec, has been given the option to film Down Under, after the 2020 series was filmed in Gwrych Castle in Abergele, Wales because of travel restrictions amid the coronavirus crisis.
Although there is now the option to return to the jungle an ITV spokesperson told MailOnline that a decision has not yet been made on whether the show will return to Australia or not.
Could it be? It comes following reports that I ‘m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here has been given the green light from Australian border force to return to the jungle.
A spokesperson said: ‘No final decision has yet been made regarding the location for the new series.’
Meanwhile, a border force source told The Sun: ‘Everyone is delighted with this news. All the signs are now pointing towards a return to the jungle.
‘As great as a year in the castle was, the show is made by its surroundings and the glitz and glamour of the jungle.
‘ITV have assurances from Australian border control bosses that even if a wider travel ban is still in place for tourists, they’ll get the paperwork and clearance they need to send cast and crew to Oz. It’s a big moment.’
Possibility: The show is said to have been given the option to film Down Under, after the 2020 series was filmed in Gwrych Castle in Abergele, Wales (2020 winner Giovanna Fletcher)
Entry to Australia is currently closed to most arrivals amid the pandemic and the country has been hailed one of the world’s Covid success stories, where infection rates are near zero, due to their strict lockdowns and border control.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced this month that Australia won’t re-open borders until mid-2022.
However, travellers who have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more can travel by air to Australia and will not require an exemption.
Australian citizens and returning permanent residents and their immediate family members are permitted to enter Australia without an exemption.
Meanwhile, Giovanna Fletcher was crowned the first Queen of the Castle in December last year, beating Jordan North and Vernon Kay to the top spot.
It was reported in April that show bosses won’t know if I’m A Celebrity will be able to return to its usual home in Australia for the upcoming 2021 series until September.
According to The Mirror, everyone is thought to be ‘very keen’ to return to the jungle and it is now just a ‘waiting game’ to know if it’ll be possible.
When contacted by MailOnline, ITV representatives stipulated: ‘No final decision has yet been made regarding the location for the new series’ (Myleene Klass on the 2006 series pictured)
One insider said: ‘Everyone is keen to get back Down Under this year but, of course, it depends on what the Australian authorities will allow.
‘We won’t know for sure if we can get back to the Gold Coast until the start of autumn, when things will be much clearer. Until then, it’s a waiting game.’
In March, ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed that bosses are hoping the show will return to the jungle as that is how the show is ‘meant to be’.
Speaking as the network published its group annual results, she said: ‘If we can go back to Australia – and this show is meant to be in Australia – then that’s what we’ll do. We have a very good plan if not, as we have already done it once (in the castle).’
The presenting duo said they’d be ‘very happy’ to remain in the UK for filming when the series returns later this year, joking they ‘wouldn’t miss the jet lag’.
Last year’s I’m A Celebrity was relocated to Gwrych Castle in Wales after plans to record the usual show in Australia became impossible due to COVID.
Going back for round two? There has been speculation the show will return to Gwrych Castle in Wales for the 2021 series with reports claiming ITV have already booked it as a backup
Speaking to Digital Spy magazine, Ant said: ‘If during coronavirus we have to stay put and do it in Wales again, I’d be very happy.
‘We were very welcomed in Wales. There were cardboard cut-outs of me and Dec in the butcher’s, and the local school did a tribute. We’d happily go back there. We’d miss the sunshine, mind.’
Dec added that he ‘wouldn’t be disappointed’ if filming was once again taking place in Wales later this year, adding: ‘The people in Wales were lovely…
They’d stay! Ant and Dec also said they’d be ‘very happy’ to remain in the UK for filming when the series returns later this year, joking they ‘wouldn’t miss the jet lag’
‘They made us feel very welcome. I had a lovely time. I will miss the sunshine, but I will not miss the jet lag of coming back from Australia.’
It was reported in February that ITV bosses had already secured use of the castle for another series if the Covid crisis prevented a return to Australia.
A source told The Sun: ‘Ultimately they are at the mercy of COVID-19 restrictions. Formally an agreement is in place for the use of Gwrych Castle this year. Should the show need to be held there again it has all got the green light.’
ITV hired the 19th century castle for six weeks in 2020, costing £1million, after Covid-19 ruled out the usual setting in Australia. The network also announced an extreme Covid Management Plan to ensure the series ran smoothly.
This included the celebrities being tested every three days and crew members wearing proximity buzzers, masks and getting temperature checks on arrival.
The celebrities also had to isolate for two weeks ahead of their arrival. The new venue was warmly received by viewers, with some even calling for the show to make Wales its new permanent home.
Chatting away: ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed earlier this year that bosses are hoping the show will return to the jungle (pictured in 2018)