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ITV confirms I'm A Celebrity switch to UK for 2020 series

ITV confirms I'm A Celebrity switch to UK for 2020 series
© ITV
ITV announces that the new series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! will be staged in the UK rather than Australia.

ITV has announced that this year's series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! will be staged in the UK rather than Australia due to coronavirus.

The show normally comes from the Aussie jungle near the Gold Coast but this time will be set at "a ruined castle in the countryside".

The move comes amid ongoing uncertainty over travel restrictions to Australia, with the country currently experiencing a significant rise in new cases of COVID-19.

The broadcaster had previously negotiated an agreement with the Australian government to allow hosts Ant and Dec, contestants and crew to fly into the country and undergo quarantine before the show was due to begin, but now the decision has been taken to move production to the relative safety of the UK.

ITV director of television Kevin Lygo said: "We announced last week that we were doing all we could to make the series and I'm thrilled that we can bring the show to viewers, albeit not in the jungle. We have a great team both on and off screen and I know they will produce a hugely entertaining series."

Richard Cowles, director of entertainment at ITV Studios, added: "We pulled out all the stops to try and make the series happen in Australia. 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."

As a result of the new location, the winner of the series will be crowned 'King or Queen of the Castle' rather than 'King or Queen of the Jungle'.

The show's switch to the UK could also prove beneficial in attracting celebrities who may have been reticent about travelling to Australia during the pandemic to sign up.

Celebs already linked with the new series include former Commons speaker John Bercow, Eric Cantona, Jessie J, Tiger King's Carole Baskin and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

> Every name in the frame for this year's I'm A Celebrity

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