How are they making it Covid-secure?
The new location prompted some concern among fans last month when the Welsh government announced its “fire-break” full national lockdown and imposed strict rules preventing travel into the country.
Gwrych Castle’s official Twitter account soon cleared things up, posting: “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.”
ITV also issued its own statement, adding: “I’m a Celebrity continues to adhere to all relevant guidelines as well as our own strict Covid protocols.”
Further eyebrows were raised when AJ Pritchard, one of the putative contestants, tested positive for Covid-19 a week before the show began. According to a source quoted in The Mirror, however, Pritchard was still expected to take part.
“AJ has had a positive test, but is not in hospital or seriously ill, and instead has been isolating in a cottage in Wales, which is the correct thing to do.”
They added that the contestants would not meet in person “until the end of the week, with the show likely to start filming late on Friday or early Saturday.” All the contestants, crew and presenters had already been asked to self-isolate for two weeks to ensure that social distancing will not be needed once the show starts.
ITV Studios entertainment director Richard Cowles recently outlined the technological precautions being undertaken by the production crew: “Everyone’s got proximity monitors on them, so they can’t come within two metres of each other without it buzzing, flashing and reminding them to step away.
“With the castle itself, we’ve mapped that completely remotely so we can get all our camera positions and do everything off-site without having to go there. We’ve created a whole virtual walk-through, so the set can be built remotely, then transported up there. We’re even going to have our editing suite in London to reduce the number of people travelling to Wales who could potentially spread Covid.”