It’s that time of year again when all the best celebrity competition shows are on. We’ve already been enjoying Strictly Come Dancing for weeks and now we are finally getting our nightly dose of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! over on ITV.
Due to Covid restrictions, last year saw the gruelling competition move from Australia to Gwrych Castle in Wales. With some restrictions still in place, the team have decided to host the show in Wales once again this year.
So while the celebrity camp mates aren’t sleeping in the bug-infested Australian jungle, they are having to endure the cold and ancient castle. What’s more, the challenges are as gruesome and spine-tingling as ever.
This is everything we know about the current series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! so far…
When did I’m a Celebrity… start?
The new series returned to ITV on Sunday 21 November.
What can we expect from the current series?
This year’s series has got off to an eventful start to say the least. First Richard Madeley has had to leave the show after he was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure when he fell ill on Thursday morning. He said: ‘By leaving the camp, I had consequently broken the Covid ‘bubble’ and as such I’ve had to leave the castle and all the wonderful celebs that remain in the camp.’
This came after both Naughty Boy and Arlene Philips have threatened to leave multiple times. The Sun has reported that Arlene is suffering from ‘chronic pain’, and even Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge has apparently developed a worrying rash.
The next blow came on Friday night, when hosts Ant and Dec were forced to record their links earlier in the evening (a first in the show’s history) due to ‘precautionary measures’ following severe storm warnings.
Dec said: ‘It’s due to get worse later so everyone is afraid that the satellite is going to go down and all of that, so it’s a bit risky to do a live show, so we’re going to have to do it recorded tonight, which is the first time we’ve ever done that.’
But worse was still to come, as Saturday and Sunday’s episodes were both cancelled due to the extreme weather conditions caused by Storm Arwen. The production base has suffered significant damage and all the celebrities have been evacuated from the castle and are currently in quarantine so as to not break the ‘covid bubble’.
Owing to technical difficulties caused by extreme weather conditions in the area, there will be no new episodes of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! this weekend (Saturday and Sunday).#ImACeleb pic.twitter.com/stFpsKkzvM
— I'm A Celebrity… (@imacelebrity) November 27, 2021
It looks as though tonight’s episode is also cancelled for the same reasons, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that the show will be back on our screens Tuesday evening.
To add even more drama, earlier last week an intruder was removed from the castle. A statement from the programme said: ‘A security breach was identified and an intruder was removed from the location with immediate effect. The safety of both our celebrities and our production crew remains our primary concern.’
Before this series started, the producers promised that they have approached this year’s series with ‘more ambition’, including the brand new section of the castle called The Clink.
Creative director of the show Tom Gould said: ‘Life will be made much tougher for the celebrities who end up in The Clink. This is the biggest change for us and it will change the dynamic at the start of the series.’
‘Obviously as a group coming into the castle last year, they were 10 celebrities all together from day one, whereas this time, it’s something we’ve done in Australia in the past, we’ve got these two groups, and that does change the dynamic and has an impact over the first few shows.’
‘It could then mean that when they do come together that they do come together very quickly or it might not have that effect.’ Those producers will do anything to stir up trouble!
Of course, everyone knows the trials are the best part of I’m a Celeb, and luckily Executive director Olly Nash said that this year’s trials are ‘bigger’ and ‘tougher’.
He said: ‘We did set out at the beginning to make it much tougher. The trials were quite limited last year but this year they’re much closer to the Australian series in terms of their scale.
‘There are more trials over the whole series than we have ever had before, and I think there are more trialists, more celebrities who take part in trials across the series than ever before in any other series.’ It looks like we’re set for some good viewing…
Who are the I’m a Celebrity… 2021 contestants?
Ant and Dec have of course returned as co-hosts (it just wouldn’t be the same show without the loveable duo, would it?) and the official line-up of campmates for this year’s I’m a Celeb includes some huge names. The 10 celebrities who are braving it in the castle are…
Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene is the show’s oldest ever contestant at 78 years old. Previously, it was Harry Redknapp when he took part aged 77.
Arlene said: ‘I still can’t believe I am doing it, either, but I love and admire everybody who has done the show. I admire their bravery and I have spoken to so many people who have done it.’
Frankie, who was a member of girl band The Saturdays and now appears on Loose Women, is also in the camp. She’s also previously teamed up with Oasis on a clothing collection.
Frankie’s husband, former footballer Wayne Bridge, took part in the show in 2016. Frankie said: ‘Ever since Wayne took part, he has been desperate for me to do it, too, and he can’t wait to watch me squirm and scream.’
Richard, who has recently been filling in on Good Morning Britain, is rumoured to have agreed a £200,000 deal to appear on this year’s series of I’m A Celeb, having been approached about coming on the show a number of times before.
The 65-year-old said: ‘Up until now, I’ve always been perfectly happy watching as a viewer but, recently, I realised I’m A Celebrity is no longer just a TV programme. It’s become part of the fabric of British life and part of the countdown to Christmas.
‘It suddenly hit me that everyone talks about it the next day and I suddenly wondered what it would be like to be there rather than watching. I realised the time had come to experience it.’
Louise left her job presenting BBC Breakfast in September after 20 years and has head straight into the castle.
Speaking of her former co-host Dan Walker, who is currently appearing on Strictly Come Dancing, Louise said: ‘I didn’t tell Dan Walker I was doing I’m A Celebrity before coming to Wales but I don’t think he will be surprised. He knows me well and I think he will be both excited and nervous for me. I have been voting for him on Strictly so fingers crossed he will vote for me a lot.’
You’ll recognise Matty as Tom Daley’s Olympic diving partner.
Music producer Naughty Boy, whose real name is Shahid Khan, was supposed to enter the castle last year but had to pull out at the last minute. He was replaced by BBC Radio 1’s Jordan North who coined the ‘happy place’ phrase.
Snoochie Shy, whose real name is Cheyenne Davide, is a BBC Radio 1 Extra host and is married to rapper Big Shaq.
Danny is best known for playing Aaron Dingle on Emmerdale.
French footballing legend David Ginola has headed in to the Welsh castle, too. While playing a charity football match in 2016, David collapsed due to a cardiac arrest and fell into a coma. He swallowed his tongue and stopped breathing, which left him clinically dead until paramedics arrived with a defibrillator. Surgeons then performed a six-hour quadruple bypass to save his life.
Paralympian Kadeena started competing as an able-bodied athlete, but after experiencing what was thought to be a stroke, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The multi-talented athlete also won Celebrity Masterchef earlier this year. Let’s see how she does with rice and beans and an open fire…
If you’ve been keeping up with the current series, you’ll have seen at the end of last night’s episode that two more celebrities are heading into the castle, and they are…
Adam, AKA Ian Beale from Eastenders is another soap star set to enter the castle.
On taking a break from the BBC soap, Adam said: ‘I am not in contract with the BBC so I can come and do it. Everyone thinks I am Ian Beale and so it’s going to be great to show I am not.’
Simon has played Steve McDonald for 32 years on Coronation Street.
He said: ‘It was common knowledge I would never do I’m A Celebrity, but my wife and kids were like, “Come on Si, you’ve got to do it, you will have fun.” And so, I’ve said yes! It is something cool for the kids to watch dad scream like a young child!’
Stay tuned for more I’m A Celebrity updates…