‘Monumental effort’ to get I’m A Celebrity back on TV after storm

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‘Monumental Effort’ To Get I’m A Celebrity Back On Tv After Storm ‘Monumental Effort’ To Get I’m A Celebrity Back On Tv After Storm
I'm A Celebrity cast, © PA Media
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By Ellie Iorizzo, Senior Entertainment Reporter PA

The team behind I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! have worked around the clock in a “monumental effort” to get the show back on the screen, presenters Ant and Dec have said.

The show will return on Tuesday night after extreme weather conditions during Storm Arwen caused production difficulties at Gwrych Castle in North Wales.

Appearing on This Morning, I’m A Celebrity hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly said: “We got a call on Saturday morning to say that basically the wind had pretty much destroyed the tech base, the marquees had come down, trees had been felled, boulders had moved so the site was unsafe.

“They could have quite easily said there was too much damage done to the production base and that we won’t be able to get back on air but they worked round the clock, the team have been magnificent.

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“The castle is the one thing that is absolutely fine, the only reason they took the celebrities out of there was because we felt it was just mean keeping them in there when we can’t film them, we can’t do anything with them, we can’t do trials with them.

“So it was decided to take them out of the castle and put them into single quarantine like we had them before they went into the show, so they have no phones, no internet, they are completely cut off from the rest of the world, just how we like it.”

The presenting duo said there was “no choice but to pull the show over the weekend” following Storm Arwen.

They said: “Interestingly they were all gutted, they have been in there for the best part of a week and they’ve all really bonded, they were absolutely gutted to leave and they were like ‘just get us back in there as soon as you can’.

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“Arlene [Phillips] took her sleeping bag because she had been sleeping really well in there, Danny [Miller] sleeping on the floor because he is not comfortable in the bed, they are raring to get back in and finish the challenge.

“They have done a week of it and they want the full experience, so they are desperate to get back in – although Frankie [Bridge] did take all of her knickers to wash in the sink.”

It has been an eventful first week at Gwrych Castle, where the programme is being filmed for a second year instead of its usual Australian base because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, TV presenter Richard Madeley announced he was leaving the show after he was taken to hospital as a precaution when he fell ill in the early hours of the morning.

Talking about Madeley’s exit, Dec said: “We have tried to get him for so long and every year we were battering him to do it and this year he finally said yes, and he unfortunately had a bit of a funny turn and had to come out.

“It was just that he had broken the restrictions which was just so frustrating.”

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As the storm hit last week, Friday’s show was switched to all pre-recorded footage, while Saturday, Sunday and Monday’s live episodes were cancelled entirely.

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McPartlin added: “There is a slight worry because there is more bad weather coming next week, but I think it is just temperatures dropping and maybe a bit of snow and frost, I think we can cope with that. You’d never get this in Australia.

“It has been a challenge but the team have been fantastic and we cant wait to get ack on air tonight because it was just hitting its stride, the show was really motoring and it was such a shame to come off air for those few days but we are back on.”

I’m A Celebrity….Get Me Out Of Here! will return to Virgin Media One and the Virgin Media Player on Tuesday night.

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