Work continued in earnest on Monday as a builders prepared Welsh landmark Gwrych Castle and its adjacent 236 acre estate ahead of the new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
The Grade I listed 19th-century country house, located near Abergele in picturesque Conwy County, north Wales, will play host to the long-running ITV show for the second consecutive year due to travel restrictions surrounding its usual home on Australia’s east coast, currently in the midst of another coronavirus lockdown.
New images from the site show the castle’s skeletal exterior walls as cranes, vans and an accompanying litter of building equipment converged nearby, ready to transform the are into a suitable campsite for this year’s yet to be announced celebrity contestants.
Here we go: Work continued in earnest on Monday as a builders prepared Welsh landmark Gwrych Castle and its adjacent 236 acre estate ahead of the new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
ITV bosses are facing a scramble against time to renovate the dilapidated building – which is now closed to the public – and its surrounding areas ahead of the new series expected to begin in November.
The reality show, which usually films in the Australian wilderness, was forced to relocate to the dilapidated castle following fears Australia could shut its borders because of the ongoing pandemic.
ITV producers have since filed an extensive planning application to the authorities in order to make the country house inhabitable in time for the new series.
Hard at work: New images from the site show the castle’s skeletal exterior walls as cranes, vans and an accompanying litter of building equipment converged nearby
Imposing: The site will serve as a dramatic backdrop when the new series gets underway this coming November
Out of bounds: The estate is currently closed to the public while work continues to transform the site into the much-loved I’m A Celeb set
The show is seeking approval for retention of the protective temporary roofs over the dining room and the coach house/blacksmith’s shop; Retention/installation of security fencing to ensure the castle and grounds are protected and retention of the new balustrade to the bothy staircase.
Also on the list is re-roofing the dairy; Installation of new doors to the coach house and blacksmith’s shop; Removal of a small section of modern concrete flooring from the wash house and provision of a new electrical supply cabinet adjacent to the drive.
According to The Sun, ITV plans to splurge millions on repair works in the castle over three or four months ahead of the show filming in the coming months.
Get in line: Articulated lorries were parked end to end nearby as work continued on the Welsh site
Moving in: ITV producers filed an extensive planning application to the authorities in order to make the country house inhabitable in time for the new series
Watch out: The long arm of a crane extended above the centuries old castle walls on a sunny day in north Wales
An inside source told the paper of the essential renovation: ‘When it was first announced that I’m A Celebrity was going to be staged in Gwrych Castle the team did a miraculous job of ensuring the building was safe and usable for filming.
‘But these new renovations will ramp up the facilities and provide basic amenities which they had to do without in 2020 due to the speed at which they had to make the shift.’
The listed property suffered at the hands of freak flash flooding last year that left exposed areas deluged and some rooms without roofs.
Can’t wait: Regular hosts Ant McPartlin (L) and Declan Donnelly (R) will once again return for the new series of I’m A Celeb
Stunning: The 19th century castle is surrounded by glorious countryside and is just a stones-throw from the Welsh coast
Stay out: Signs placed outside the castle entrance forbid members of the public from entering while they work on renovating the interiors
Race against team: ITV will be hoping the set is completed with time to spare ahead of the new series’ November launch date
Formerly the country retreat of aristocrat Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh, the castle was saved from disrepair by Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust in 2018.
The castle is said to be haunted by the Countess of Dundonald who owned the building until her death in 1926.
Known as The Woman in White, she is said to have been angry at her husband for stripping the castle of valuables and selling them. A ghostly white figure has been seen at the windows.
The last series of I’m A Celeb, won by Giovanna Fletcher, 35, was a ratings hit as it got 14.3 million viewers. It ended up being the second most watched series in the history of the show, which started in 2002.
Very nice: Open spaces stretch out in all directions outside the castle, but this year’s celebs will be given few opportunities to appreciate the area’s natural beauty
Nice view: Rows of suburban houses can be seen close to the castle grounds in Conwy County, north Wales
Costly: It’s understood that ITV plans to splurge millions on repair works in the castle over three or four months ahead of the show filming in the coming months
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