Yes, for the first time in its 18-year history, ITV favourite I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! has relocated from the Australian bush to somewhere much closer to home – namely, Gwrych Castle on the Conwy coast. Yes, even reality TV franchises are taking a Covid-enforced 2020 staycation.
Good evening and welcome to our I’m a Celebrity liveblog for the 2020 series launch – a 90-minute bumper edition. It’s castle o’clock at 9pm on ITV, when our 10 trailblazing campmates will venture into the Grade I-listed estate for the first time.
This year’s contestants include Olympic hero Mo Farah, journalist Victoria Derbyshire, former Strictly pro AJ Pritchard, presenter Vernon “husband of Tess Daly” Kaye and vlogger (and friend-of-Kate Middleton) Giovanna Fletcher – plus the usual gaggle of soap actors and young people you haven’t quite heard of.
Cheeky Georgie chipmunks Ant and Dec are back on hosting duties, trying to hide their disgruntlement that they’re not basking in five-star, sun-soaked, golfing Gold Coast luxury this time.
So who’ll be subjected to the first ever Bushtucker Trial on home soil? Will tripe, sheep’s trotters and stale Welsh cakes replace the traditional delicacies Down Under? Will someone get spooked by the castle’s resident ghost? And who are the early candidates to be crowned King or Queen of the Castle?
We’ll be liveblogging from 8.30pm, providing build-up, rolling coverage, recaps and analysis, so please watch along with us. Please join in too – you can email me on michael.hogan@ telegraph.co.uk, tweet me on @michaelhogan or leave comments at the bottom of this blog. I’ll keep an eye on them all and report the highlights here.
Nearly time for basic rice rations with a side helping of creaky castle creepiness…