The Yorkshire-born stars and their campmates lined up for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
Wintery weather, no need for suncream, and no possibility of spotting a koala or a kangaroo (as far as we know…). It’s fair to say things are going to look very different on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! this series.
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ITV reality show – now in its 20th series – is being filmed at the ruined Gwrych Castle, which overlooks the coastal town of Abergele in North Wales, instead of the Australian bush.
But that doesn’t mean the competition will be any less entertaining. The nation’s favourite presenting duo, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, are back as hosts and there will still be plenty of gruelling (and some fun) challenges.
Plus, it’s a seriously exciting set of celebs taking part.
Among them is West Yorkshire’s Beverley Callard, the Morley-born soapstar famous for playing Coronation Street icon Liz McDonald.
Viewers will discover the 63-year-old soap star is actually worlds away from her glamorous on-screen character, says Callard, whose phobias include ghosts and insects.
After months of being at home, because of lockdown and a hip operation, she’s excited about meeting new people – and sitting around the camp chatting with them.
“The only thing that worries me is the toilet side of things and personal hygiene,” she says.
York-born Radio 1 DJ Jordan North will be joining her in the camp. The 30-year-old, who is known for his bubbly and energetic presenting skills, thinks his listeners will see another side to him, as “everyone has down moments”.
We can also expect him to be “the chief cleaner”, as “a tidy camp is a happy camp”. “It’s just easier to say what I’m not scared of,” quips North. “I have so many phobias.”
As for the other eight contestants vying to be crowned King or Queen of the castle, here’s what viewers can expect.
Sir Mo Farah, who won gold for Team GB at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, is looking forward to surprising people who only know him for his athletic abilities.
“My kids have been on at me too, saying, ‘I can’t see you doing that dad’. But I want to give it a go,” the 37-year-old says. “I know the eating trials involve yucky stuff, but you just have to hold your nose and crack on.”
Bolton-born Vernon Kay, who has fronted various TV shows, will also be joining them in the jungle. Expect tears. The 46-year-old, who says he’s doing the show for his two daughters, is a self-proclaimed big softie.
Award-winning journalist and broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire says she won’t hold back if something needs to be said to her fellow campmates. The 52-year-old from Bury is determined to take on new challenges after beating breast cancer.
Londoner Shane Richie, best known for his role as Alfie in BBC soap EastEnders sees himself as the type of person who will muck in with anything whilst Hollie Arnold, the Lincolnshire-born Paralympian who took home a gold medal in the javelin in Rio for Team GB, predicts she will be the peacemaker of the group.
She says she doesn’t want her time on the show to be about her disability. “Yes, I have a missing arm and I am in the Paralympics but I want to show people nothing stops me and it shouldn’t stop anyone else either.”
Completing this year’s line up are ballroom dancer and former Strictly Come Dancing professional AJ Pritchard, who describes himself as “unbelievably competitive”, podcaster and author Giovanna Fletcher, who says heights make her “legs go wobbly”, and EastEnders star Jessica Plummer.
The new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! starts on Sunday, November 15.