Entertainment

I’m A Celebrity ‘WILL return to Australia this year after the last series was relocated to Wales’

I’m A Celebrity is believed to be returning to Australia for the 2021 series, after last year’s show was forced to relocate to Wales amid covid-19 travel restrictions.

A source told MailOnline that the show’s set in Australia is being prepared for the upcoming show, with a crew of 30 staff reportedly clearing debris and fallen trees from the site which had been out of use for a year. 

It’s said that work visas are being prepared for the latest batch of celebrities as they prepare to set up camp down under.  

 It’s happening! I’m A Celebrity is believed to be returning to Australia for the 2021 series, after last year’s show was forced to relocate to Wales amid covid-19 travel restrictions

When contacted by MailOnline a representative for I’m A Celebrity said: ‘We’ll announce the location for the new series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in due course.’

It comes after it was reported that last month that I’m A Celebrity bosses needed to decide within the next two weeks whether the show returns to Australia or remains in Wales for a second year.

The ITV series filmed in Gwrych Castle last year after the Covid-19 pandemic made it impossible for the show to travel safely to Australia. 

A source told MailOnline: ‘ITV need to decide in the next two weeks whether they go to Australia or Wales this year. It’s decision time! 

Relocation: The ITV series filmed in Gwrych Castle last year after the Covid-19 pandemic made it impossible for the show to travel safely to Australia

 Relocation: The ITV series filmed in Gwrych Castle last year after the Covid-19 pandemic made it impossible for the show to travel safely to Australia

‘Wales is pencilled as we know but clearly everyone wants to return to Australia. 

‘However if they choose Australia there is every chance it could be cancelled later down the line because of Covid If they choose Wales, it is guaranteed it will happen.’

The source added that if the show does remain in Wales for another series, ITV will have to fork out more cash than they would for Australia.

They added: ‘It costs MORE to film in Wales than fly to Australia as it’s a four month set build.  ‘That’s why they have to make a decision now. Time is running out. And there is no show without them. So it’s all pointing to being Wales. Oz is far too risky.’

However, it appears that the decision has now been made with preparations for the show to be filmed in its usual location of Murwillumbah, New South Wales. 

Getting ready: A source told MailOnline that the show's set in Australia is being prepared for the upcoming show, with a crew of 30 staff reportedly clearing debris from the site

Getting ready: A source told MailOnline that the show’s set in Australia is being prepared for the upcoming show, with a crew of 30 staff reportedly clearing debris from the site

Meanwhile, a source told the Sun on Sunday: ‘Crew have been told to prepare for Australia again, which is music to everyone’s ears as they were dreading having to do it in Wales again.

‘Talent agents are delighted too, as stars are much keener to sign up now it’s in an exotic location offering viewers some sun amid a cold winter.

‘International film production have been entering Australia all year since January, always adhering to strict Covid guidelines, so filming in a remote location should be straightforward’ 

The insider added to the publication that ITV is ‘mindful and sensitive’ of the ‘changing environment’ amid the pandemic, with plans put in place to launch the new series in ‘Covid safe conditions.’.

It comes as hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly recently said that plans to return to Australia for I’m A Celebrity this year are ‘still up in the air’. 

Preparations underway: It's said that work visas are being prepared for the latest batch of celebrities as they prepare to set up camp down under (pictured last year's camp mates)

Preparations underway: It’s said that work visas are being prepared for the latest batch of celebrities as they prepare to set up camp down under (pictured last year’s camp mates)

The Geordie duo, both 45, revealed producers are having conversations with Australia ‘to see if they’ll let us in’ for the show which is set to air this autumn, although they added that they would ‘happily go back to Wales’ for the next series.

Speaking on Lorraine, Dec said of the upcoming series: ‘It’s still all up in the air, people are having conversations with Australia to see if they’ll let us in.

‘If not, we’ve got a lovely alternative to go back to Wales, which we had a great time there.

Unsure: It comes after hosts Ant and Dec said that plans to return to Australia for I'm A Celebrity this year are 'still up in the air'

Unsure: It comes after hosts Ant and Dec said that plans to return to Australia for I’m A Celebrity this year are ‘still up in the air’

‘We had a really lovely series and the people of North Wales made us feel very welcome. We’d gladly go back there. But we’ll see whether it’s Oz or Wales, we’re not quite sure yet.’

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).’

Prior to the confirmation, hosts Ant and Dec sparked claims that this year’s series will be returning to Wales.

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’. 

'It's a waiting game': It comes after it was reported last month that I'm A Celebrity will not know if it's able to a return to its usual home in Australia for the upcoming 2021 series until September (Ant and Dec pictured at Gwyrch Castle in 2020)

‘It’s a waiting game’: It comes after it was reported last month that I’m A Celebrity will not know if it’s able to a return to its usual home in Australia for the upcoming 2021 series until September (Ant and Dec pictured at Gwyrch Castle in 2020)

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.

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 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.’  

Plans: 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' (Dec pictured)

Plans: 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’ (Dec pictured)  


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