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How I’m A Celebrity saved Gwrych Castle and hundreds of jobs with vital £300k lifeline

I'm a Celebrity's Gwrych Castle confirms show will go ahead despite new Wales lockdown SWNS/Getty

I’m A Celeb has had a very positive impact (SWNS/Getty)

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! has saved the future of Gwrych Castle and the surrounding area with a huge £300,000 lifeline.

The ITV reality show is moving lodgings for the new series due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with the usual Australian jungle setting making way for a castle in Wales – and there are already some hefty boosts to the local economy.

Mark Baker – architectural historian and founder and head of the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust – has never actually watched the programme and he initially ignored emails from the broadcaster thinking they were just spam.

However, he’s certainly glad he did after the £300k fee saved the castle and a lot of local workers.

He told Radio Times: ‘I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before anyone from ITV so much as visited, and the actual name of the programme was never confirmed until we were very close to signing contracts in July.

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‘It would usually take us over two years to raise £300,000. With the second wave of Covid, the programme has saved not only us but many local businesses.

‘Hundreds of jobs have kept going because ITV have employed them on site.’

This year’s series – which will see presenting duo Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly back at the helm – looks totally stacked after the contestants were finally revealed on Sunday night.

I'm A Celebrity jungle campmates

This year’s line-up is stacked – how will they cope in a haunted castle? (Picture: ITV)

Olympic icon Sir Mo Farah leads the way, with former Corrie star Beverley Callard – who was first linked back in April – swapping the Rovers Return for the castle kitchen.

Staying in the soap world, ex-EastEnders actress Jessica Plummer joins the show off the back of a harrowing storyline track extended periods of domestic abuse for her character, Chantelle, while Albert Square legend Shane Richie has also signed up.

McFly star Tom Fletcher’s wife Giovanna is stepping up to the challenge, alongside Paralympian Hollie Arnold, TV presenter Vernon Kay, news reporter Victoria Derbyshire and BBC Radio One host Jordan North.

Former Strictly pro AJ Pritchard rounds off the line-up, but after he tested positive for coronavirus, everyone’s keeping their fingers crossed for the all-clear in time for the start of the new series.

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MORE : I’m A Celebrity 2020: Line-up finally confirmed with first look at Sir Mo Farah and AJ Pritchard leading castle stars

MORE : I’m A Celeb 2020: Contestants warned they’ll be visited by galloping ghost horses in haunted Welsh castle

Credit: Original article published here.

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