The full cast of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! 2020 has finally been unveiled, with stars such as Sir Mo Farah, ‘COVID-positive’ AJ Pritchard and Beverley Callard teaming up for their first official portraits.
Hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, the ITV programme, which will be returning for its 20th series from November 15, has seen the show relocate from the jungles of Australia to North Wales’ Gwrych Castle due to travel concerns sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Also competing for the title of King or Queen of the Jungle will be Vernon Kay, 46; Jessica Plummer, 28; Shane Richie, 56; Victoria Derbyshire, 52; Giovanna Fletcher, 35; Hollie Arnold, 26, and Jordan North, 30.
Cast: (L-R) Vernon Kay, Beverley Callard, Sir Mo Farah, Jessica Plummer, Shane Richie, Victoria Derbyshire, AJ Pritchard, Giovanna Fletcher, Hollie Arnold and Jordan North have been unveiled as the new cast of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here
In the images, the contestants have swapped traditional bush ensembles for padded red gilets as they posed together outside the castle, which is rumoured to be haunted.
Long-distance runner Mo, 37, who is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, is said to have been offered a whopping £300,000 fee.
The huge pay packet would make the award-winning sportsman the highest paid celeb on the 2020 series, with bosses said to have splashed out a huge £1million to secure top talent.
Explaining his reasons for going on I’m A Celebrity, the cross country star told ITV: ‘I’ve watched it on telly and thought to myself I would like to challenge myself and see what I can do – and so that is the whole reason behind it.
‘I know a lot of people will be surprised as they don’t see me in that way. They associate me with running and winning but nothing other than that. And 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! I want to have fun in the camp!’
Former Strictly professional AJ, 26, meanwhile, has reportedly thrown the survival show into chaos by testing positive for coronavirus eight days before the show begins.
Ready for fun: Runner Mo, 37, is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, while Coronation Street legend Beverley, 63, is best known for playing Liz McDonald on the soap
What will happen? Former Strictly professional AJ, 26, meanwhile, has reportedly thrown the survival show into chaos by testing positive for coronavirus eight days before the show begins
I’M A CELEBRITY… GET ME OUT OF HERE! 2020: Who are the celebrities?
Name: SIR MO FARAH CBE
Claim to fame: The most successful British track athlete in Olympic Games history
Phobias: Any animal that moves
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: It will be nice for people to see me doing something other than running
Role in the camp: Cook
Miss most: Coffee, my wife and children
Dream campmate: Samuel L Jackson would be pretty cool
Relationship status: Married
Name: SHANE RITCHIE
Phobias: Human faeces. If I see one, it is over! I am hoping the camp toilet will be enclosed
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: Nothing. I don’t think I am that interesting
Role in the camp: Person who will muck in with anything
Miss most: My family and routine at home
Dream campmate: Eric Cantona, any 80s’ pop star or The Roc
Relationship status: Married
Name: BEVERLEY CALLARD
Claim to fame: Corrie legend
Phobias: Ghosts and insects
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: People think I am glamorous as I have played Liz for so long but I am not
Role in the camp: Cleaner
Miss most: Dogs and my husband, Jon
Dream campmate: Ricky Gervais – he would keep us all going
Relationship status: Married
Name: AJ PRITCHARD
Claim to fame: Former Strictly professional
Phobias: Heights, claustrophobia
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: People see me with sparkles and fake tan but nobody knows what I am like
Role in the camp: Keeping spirits up and the cleaner
Miss most: My warm and comfy bed
Dream campmate: Any celebrity with an intriguing background
Relationship status: Dating
Name: VERNON KAY
Claim to fame: TV and radio presenter
Phobias: I don’t like being confined underwater!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: I think I have always been the same throughout my career – so I don’t have any.
Role in the camp: Person to keep spirits up.
Miss most: My family.
Dream camper: Anybody who has won the Super Bowl!
Relationship status: Married.
Name: VICTORIA DERBYSHIRE
Claim to fame: Award-winning journalist
Phobias: I am not a fan of spiders or confined spaces and I don’t know what I am going to be like when I get there!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: I don’t think I have any as people just know me as the news and current affairs person!
Role in the camp: Shoulder to cry on.
Miss most: My boys, husband, dog and Mum.
Dream campmate: Madonna, Gary Lineker and Jamie Oliver to cook for us. I think you could have some really geeky chats with them!
Relationship status: Married.
Name: GIOVANNA FLETCHER
Claim to fame: Author and podcaster
Phobias: Heights. My legs go wobbly and you can’t rationalise it
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: I am not that controversial so nothing
Role in the camp: Mum, friend and the giver of hugs
Miss most: My husband, Tom, and my three children
Dream campmate: The Queen, Judi Dench and Ant Middleton so he can help us with all the survival skills
Relationship status: Married
Name: JESSICA PLUMMER
Claim to fame: Former EastEnders actress
Phobias: Arachnophobia, fear of heights –just about every phobia
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: It will be nice for people to see me for who I am rather than my EastEnders character
Role in the camp: Chatterbox and little sister
Miss most: My daughter. It’s going to be the longest we’ve been apart
Dream campmate: Denzel Washington would be awesome. I would listen to every word he said
Relationship status: Single
Name: JORDAN NORTH
Claim to fame: Radio 1 DJ
Phobias: It’s just easier to say what I am not scared of. I have so many phobias
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: On my Radio 1 show, I am always bubbly and energetic but everyone has down moments too, so it will be nice for people to see what I am really like
Role in the camp: Entertainer and the tidy up person –I love a tidy house
Miss most: A nice cool pint of Guinness
Dream campmate: Barack Obama and Liam Gallagher. He would be great entertainment value
Relationship status: Single
Name: HOLLIE ARNOLD MBE
Claim to fame: Paralympic gold medallist
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the castle: I don’t want it to focus on my disability
Role in the camp: Cook/shoulder to cry on
Miss most: My boyfriend, food and my cats
Dream campmate: Michelle Keegan –she is beautiful
Relationship status: Dating
According to new reports, the dancer had a routine test along with the other contestants and is believed to be ‘shocked’ as he has been ‘feeling fine’ after following the precautions set out.
The source told The Sun: ‘Everyone is on tenterhooks. Like the other contestants AJ had a routine Covid test, which came back positive. He will have another one before going in.
‘The ITV production team have gone to incredible lengths all year to make sure everything is carried out safely and with as minimal risk to the cast and crew as possible.
‘There is little room for error. If several stars are struck down, particularly one of the older ones, then it would throw the whole show into jeopardy and be very problematic.’
The TV star, who is isolating near the Welsh set with his girlfriend Abbie Quinnen, is believed to be earning £50,000 for his participation.
They are back! Hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, the ITV programme will be returning for its 20th series from November 15
Eight months after leaving Strictly, the ballroom star threw shade at the BBC show as he said: ‘Doing I’m A Celebrity is a childhood dream come true.
‘I was so excited to watch the return of Strictly this Autumn but now I am going to be on an even better show! I can’t wait!’
Coronation Street legend Beverley, 63, had previously sparked concern she may not take part in the show after a botched hip surgery, but it appears that the soap star is more than ready to take on the challenge, and is said to be on £125,000 paycheck.
The Liz McDonald actress is believed to have signed up for the series back in April, five months after quitting the soap series following a 30-year stint.
Beverley – who revealed she had been approached to do the show ‘many times before’ – said the prospect of meeting others excites her following her procedure.
She explained: ‘After lockdown because I had a hip operation I was still at home. But I am not good at being at home and I have not met any new people for months, so this chance will be really good. Sitting around the camp doesn’t bother me because it is a chance to chat!’
New location: The series has seen the show relocate from the jungles of Australia to North Wales’ Gwrych Castle (pictured) due to travel concerns sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic
Presenter Vernon is rumoured to have scooped a £150,000 fee for the series, while his wife Tess Daly continues her hosting duties on Strictly Come Dancing.
The broadcaster is no stranger to the network, having fronted shows such as All Star Family Fortunes from 2006 until 2015, Beat the Star from 2008 until 2009 and Splash! from 2013 until 2014.
Vernon insisted he’s joined the show for his daughters Phoebe, 16, and Amber, 11, and reckoned he’ll ‘cry one hundred per cent.’
The father-of-two said: ‘The physical and mental challenges will be really interesting. I am also looking forward to finding out who my camp mates are and building relationships with those guys – finding out who they are and what makes them who they are. Mainly though I am doing it for my daughters, Phoebe and Amber.
‘It’s a show they watch on a regular basis and they get behind the people in the camp. I think the fact I am involved in it will make it even more fun for them! ‘And now it is approaching, they are so excited. Every time I talk about it, I get a double fist pump from them and they are thrilled to be involved.’
Behind-the-scenes: Host Vick Hope will be fronting I’m A Celebrity…The Daily Drop, a brand-new series following all camp activity, available on ITV Hub every morning after the main show
Insiders had previously claimed journalist Victoria and soap star Jessica will bag £75,000 each for their appearances.
The award-winning host is best known for presenting her eponymous current affairs and debate programme from 2015 until March this year, before serving as the main presenter of BBC News at Nine on BBC One.
Revealing her battle with breast cancer in 2015 has made her more determined than ever to take on new tasks, Victoria said: ‘This is a mad thrill adventure that I want to take part in. Because of cancer, I know more than lots of people, life is short. I am now saying ”yes” to stuff I wouldn’t have done previously.
‘And if I don’t do my boys proud, I will never live it down! They really, really want me to do it and they have kept it a secret for months now because they want me to do it so much! They do think it is cool I am doing it because this is their programme of the year. My husband is also so happy I am doing it. He thinks I will love it, throw myself into it and he said if it makes me happy, he is happy. They are on the journey with me!’
Jessica first emerged as a member of girl group Neon Jungle from 2013 until 2015, before switching lanes by becoming a thespian.
The curly-haired beauty signed up for the show following her character Chantelle Taylor’s tragic exit from EastEnders.
On being apart from her four-year-old daughter Noa, Jess said: ‘I am going to miss her more than anything. And I will miss her the most. But I know she will be able to see me on TV and she will get me through it.’
Podcaster Giovanna – friend of Kate Middleton’s pal and McFly star Tom Fletcher’s wife – has won a legion of fans with her blogs about motherhood and podcasts.
The parent-of-three is definitely stepping out of her comfort zone by taking part in the show, an experience she believes will allow her to ‘step inside my TV’.
Giovanna spoke about missing her husband and their three sons as she shared: ‘It is the longest I have ever been away from them but it is also an amazing opportunity and I know it is something we can talk about for years to come and say ”remember when mum did that thing!”’
Reigning champion: Former EastEnders actress Jacqueline Jossa was crowned winner on last year’s series (pictured with Geordie presenters Ant and Dec
EastEnders’ Shane is well recognised for his role as Alfie Moon on the BBC soap where he starred alongside Jessie Wallace, who played his on-screen wife Kat Slater.
The TV star admitted he’s signed up as he’s been left ‘skint’ after losing his acting jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shane candidly said: ‘We were going to fit it around my other work projects as I was going on tour, doing a TV series and panto but that all got cancelled in March. And now I am literally skint! You save money for a rainy day but you don’t expect the rainy day to last six months.
‘Thankfully I’ve been able to borrow money from mates, my family and the bank and my wife is now very happy we can finally pay off the credit card! But what an honour to be asked before lockdown. I am so grateful and I am really looking forward to being around adults again instead of my wife and three children!’
The media personality could be set to go far on I’m A Celebrity if the past performances of his TV co-stars are anything to go by with Charlie Brooks, Joe Swash and Jacqueline Jossa all winning in the past.
Para-athlete Hollie, who is believing to be bagging £50,000 for her appearance, rose to fame as the youngest field athlete to compete in the Paralympics during the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, aged 13.
On why she’s joined the show, the sportswoman said: ‘I don’t want it to be about my 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.
Background: Winifred Cochrane, who is said to haunt the towers in anger at her tyrannical husband, was an extremely wealthy heiress (pictured on her wedding day in 1878)
‘I hope by going on the programme, it inspires people. I want people to look and see that I am scared but I am giving it a go.’
Rounding out the lineup is DJ Jordan, who is fondly known as Radio 1’s ‘supply teacher’ by fans, and has hosted the mid-morning weekend slot since September, after acting as a fill-in for many years.
His participation may come as a surprise to some, as he confessed he’s afraid of ‘everything’. The radio star said: ‘I have got so many phobias and fears. I am worried I will let people down but I also want to give the trials my best go. I hope Radio 1 listeners will get behind me.’
Vick Hope will be hosting I’m A Celebrity…The Daily Drop, a brand-new series following all camp activity, available on ITV Hub every morning after the main show.
A spokesman for the castle addressed the recent lockdown as they confirmed the show would go ahead as planned.
Taking to Twitter, they said: ‘Following the announcement from the First Minister the overriding message is that filming CAN continue in Wales providing related activity cannot be undertaken from home, and there is full compliance with Welsh law. We cannot wait to see I’m A Celebrity on our screens.’
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced on October 16 that the ‘firebreak’ lockdown would start on Friday 23 October and run until at least November 9.
Gwrych Castle is said to be haunted by Countess of Dundonald, who owned the building until her death in 1926.
Winifred Cochrane, who is said to haunt the towers in anger at her tyrannical husband, was an extremely wealthy heiress who had land that stretched across Wales, Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.
The aristocrat was the only surviving child of Robert Bamford-Hesket and Ellen Jones-Bateman, which made her part of the Marchudd ap Cynan, one of the 15 noble tribes of North Wales.
In 1878, aged 19, she had an arranged marriage to Douglas Cochrane, 12th Earl of Dundonald, who later became world famous for leading the charge at the Relief of Ladysmith, during the Boer War.
But while her husband was lauded as a British Army general, the marriage was unhappy, with Douglas spending most of his time in Scotland, while Winifred stayed in Wales with their three children.
Social distancing between contestants will be enforced by a ‘proximity buzzer’ — just one of a host of Covid-safe measures in place in order to keep the (highly lucrative) show on the road.
The crew has been whittled down to a fraction of the usual number, with many working remotely. Local sources suggest they will be staying in a caravan park in Conwy for the three-and-a-half weeks of the show.
A relatively down-to-earth local hotel will host the show’s executives, and presenters Ant and Dec are understood to be booked to stay in local cottages with their families.
Challenges for the celebrities may well involve swimming in freezing Colwyn Bay, abseiling down castle walls and finding their way through dark caves. It can be revealed there will be critters for the trials, even if they will mostly be non-native to the UK.
The stars look set to be faced with a drawbridge exit on this year’s series as a new wooden structure has been built outside one of the entrances to the building.
Ariel photos show a large platform has been built with a star visible at the end of the drawbridge where the stars will likely pose on their way out.
The 20th series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! is set to air from Sunday November 15 at 9pm on ITV.
Departure details: The stars look set to be faced with a drawbridge exit on this year’s series as a new wooden structure has been built outside one of the entrances to the building