Filming for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here is well underway, with campmates spotted making a dramatic arrival at North Wales’ Gwrych Castle on Friday night.
The string of cars were pictured heading towards the imposing country house which had been lit up with roaring flames.
Not quite making it to the front door, the vehicles reportedly stopped by a pair of large towers which had been erected specially for the ITV show.
Wow! Filming for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here is well underway, with campmates spotted making a dramatic arrival at North Wales’ Gwrych Castle on Friday night
Contestants were said to have been wearing red-and-yellow clothing with one unidentified star having been seen from a distance holding an oversized key token.
With dramatic red lights beaming against the castle, fire balls were shot into the air during the spellbinding challenge.
Every so often, the celebrities were said to have been heard cheering on their teammates during the exciting bonding exercise.
Incredible: The string of cars were pictured heading towards the imposing country house. One unidentified star was said to have been seen from a distance holding an oversized key token
Dramatic: Not quite making it to the front door, the vehicles reportedly stopped by a pair of large towers which had been erected specially for the ITV show. Contestants were said to have been wearing red-and-yellow clothing
The stars earlier embarked on their first terrifying challenge as they were seen hanging above an abandoned quarry during the Walk The Plank task.
Louise Minchin, Naughty Boy, Danny Miller And Snoochie Shy were among a group of celebs who were flown by helicopter to a rig constructed for the show and escorted by presenters Ant and Dec.
After they arrived, the group were seen tackling the challenge as they were clad in neon orange jackets and dangling from up high while taking on the Walk The Plank challenge.
Impressive: The production team had clearly gone to town with the show’s budget
Eye-popping: The castle had been lit up with spurts of eye-popping flames. Every so often, the celebrities were said to have been heard cheering on their teammates during the exciting bonding exercise
Dazzling: The eye-popping display certainly promises for an entertaining debut episode
The presenters themselves, appeared to be enjoying the view from the scaffolding. Ant, wearing a long coat, jeans and boots, taking out his mobile phone and snapping pictures of the drop while laughing.
Dec was beaming as he chatted to Naughty Boy and pointed around the scaffolding.
Naughty Boy and Danny Miller appeared particularly purturbed by the task after the bottom of the plank gave out underneath them as they floundered on the plank.
Teams of cameraman had batteries of lights installed on top of the scaffolding as for the stars walked around talking to Ant and Dec.
Star-studded: The campmates followed one another in vehicles to the castle
Follow the leader: The trail of cars were led by a pair of production members in a golf buggy
Arrival: The cars travelled slowly behind one another
Standing out: The queue certainly stood out against the pitch-black backdrop
The fact that they risked adding carbon emissions and polluting the air with their means of transport only a week after the government-led green summit COP26 seemed lost on show producers.
One observer said: ‘It was a sunny morning and you can get quite easily from the castle where they will be based, to the set which has been built.
‘They could’ve easily taken an electric car all together and it would have taken them about an hour. But I suppose they want to keep the celebs away from prying eyes and away from any risk of Covid infection.’
What’s this? The challenge had been lit up with neon signs
Explosive: Flames yet again graced the spellbinding challenge
Interesting: Arrow structures pointed up into the sky
Eek! One star could be seen taking part in the dramatic challenge
Wow! It is hoped this particular campmate isn’t afraid of heights
Neon: The activity certainly hints at an explosive new series
Gruelling: The stars were certainly put through their paces
In the afternoon, the weather turned, with rain and mist descending forcing filming to halt.
All participants in the show, which is one of ITV’s biggest hits annually, have been in isolation for the past fortnight.
Today’s show producers filmed the celebs landing in helicopters and then ‘walking the plank’ over the giant scaffolding which has been erected in a quarry along the North Wales coast near Caernarfon.
The scaffolding has been erected at Alexandra Quarry near Penyffridd, In order to force them to ‘Walk The Plank’ during a task. It is above the disused quarry, with a terrifying drop of hundreds of feet.
Ant and Dec, wrapped up against the cold and rain, showed four of the show stars around the scaffolding before filming began.
Aghh! I’m a Celebrity stars embarked on their first terrifying challenge on Friday as they were seen hanging above an abandoned quarry during the Walk The Plank task
All hands on! The camera crews all wore dark ensembles while the celebrities were identifiable in their neon
Help! Naughty Boy looked less than pleased as the ground escaped from beneath him
Help! I’m a Celebrity stars were airlifted to the scene of what is expected to be their most fearsome challenge today
A similar plank challenge was executed in Australia in the 2019 series, while last year, stars abseiled down a cliff – leading to a memorable moment in which DJ Jordan North vomited in fear.
Ant and Dec and their band of stars were given a hearty welcome back to North Wales in the eve of the 20th anniversary of the hit show, despite opposition from some locals.
The TV presenters were surprised by a banner held over a motorway leading to Abergele which urged them to ‘go home’.
There has also been unhappiness against the celebrity circus on local bulletin boards from residents concerned that the increased number of visitors will mean traffic snarl ups as roads have been closed with traffic speeds limited and footpaths sealed off.
Help! Naughty Boy was one of the unlucky ones as the floor was swept from under him
Snap happy: Dec was snapping selfies after departing the helicopter
Ouch! Danny Miller was seen hanging in discomfort from high above
Taking the plunge! The fall was nothing short of terrifying as they stars plummeted
A woman died outside the castle in a road accident while trying to take a picture of the monument last year leading to safety fears over fans.
But businesses and local residents in the Welsh town have hit back and come out in favour of the pair bringing their show back to Gwrych Castle for the second consecutive year after seeing visitor numbers increase by 50 per cent.
As these pictures show, along with Christmas decorations locals have been busy erecting banners, cardboard cut outs and photographs welcoming the duo, who usually broadcast from the Australian jungle, back.
Les Light who owns Ready Grass in Abergele has placed two giant cardboard cut outs of the Geordie stars next to a throne and two giant sized balloons.
Help! Emmerdale star Danny was seen chatting to crew members
Eek! Teams of cameraman had batteries of lights installed on top of the scaffolding as for the stars walked around talking to Ant and Dec
Spooky! Earlier this week, the preparations were put in place for the challenge
Help! The stars were seen preparing to get onto the plank earlier in the day
Keep out the cold! The foursome looked spooked for the trials ahead as they headed to the grounds in Abergele, Wales, with the news presenter, 53, at the helm while the producer, 36, actor, 30, and DJ, 29, were hot on her heels
Here come the girls! Thankfully, the ladies were seeing the funny side of the challenges ahead
Tough times ahead: The new shots come after it was revealed that this year’s I’m A Celeb will be the toughest series yet with the greatest number of trials the show has ever had after bosses schedule one terrifying challenge per day
He said: ‘These guys are good for putting the area on the national map as well as bringing more visitors into the pubs here.’
At the local butchers Kitchens of Abergele, store assistant Dawn Williams said: ‘I think it is wonderful they are back here.
‘Most people love them and the attention it brings. We have put their faces in our window as well as those of the 10 contestants. It is going to be a great celebration of our castle and our market town.’
Butcher Darren King added: ‘Everyone here has the programme on their lips and wish them luck. ‘
Retired tax consultant Sarah Frost, 82, said: ‘These are lovely people who exude such charm on our television sets. It is wonderful to think that Ant and Dec are in our town.
‘I just wish they would take a walk down the High Street and meet everyone. They couldn’t last year because of Covid restrictions. I do hope they can this time round.’
Impressive: Ant and Dec and their band of stars were given a hearty welcome back to North Wales in the eve of the 20th anniversary of the hit show, despite opposition from some locals
Warming: A number of local businesses in the Welsh town of Abergele have erected banners and posters to welcome Ant and Dec, and their cast of I’m A Celebrity stars
Double-act: There has also been unhappiness against the celebrity circus on local bulletin boards from residents concerned that the increased number of visitors will mean traffic snarl ups as roads have been closed with traffic speeds limited and footpaths sealed off
Lovely: Along with Christmas decorations locals have been busy erecting banners, cardboard cut outs and photographs welcoming the duo, who usually broadcast from the Australian jungle, back
Imposing: Gwrych Castle, which is the setting for the new series of I’m A Celebrity get Me Out Of Here!
Beaming: Local butchers Darren King and Dawn Williams (both pictured) are among the local workers who put on a warm welcome to Ant and Dec
Adorable: A model castle and cardboard cut out of Ant and Dec have been placed in the window of this shop
But she added: ‘I would rather like to meet the footballer David (Ginola) though. He has such beautiful Gallic eyes. They are eyes that can easily seduce…but I must be getting along.’
The barmaid at the George and Dragon Clare Stanton ,48, who is originally from Kent, added: ‘I would love Ant to come here and pull a pint for the regulars. It would make their day.
‘The show is very popular around here. It is good for everyone that people around the country get to see Abergele filmed and talked about.
‘We are all trying to find out who put that banner up on the bridge. I think it might have been a prank and somebody trying to have a laugh. It wasn’t remotely funny. We love Ant and Dec. They are national institutions.’
Conwy councillor Goronwy Edwards, said: ‘ it has been a very difficult year for the businesses here.
Fine dining: A full-sized cardboard cut out of Ant and Dec can be seen front and centre in the window of this shop
Hilarious: One shop window took inspiration from one of the shows longest-running bushtucker trials – the Celebrity Cyclone
What a pair! Cardboard masks of I’m A Celebrity hosts Ant and Dec have been glued onto the front of these festive Brussel sprout decorations in the town
‘They are keen to take advantage of the new trade that this show will bring to the area and good luck to them. It should boost the local economy.
‘There have been some worries about traffic. But we are better prepared this year as we have had more time.
‘There has been a few people who do not agree with having the show here and all the attention that it brings. But I think the attention that it does bring is very positive.
‘People have been coming here from all over Britain to have their pictures taken outside the castle. They want to be part of the show and so do the local people.’
I’m A Celebrity 2021 Line-up
CLAIM TO FAME: Broadcaster & ex BBC Breakfast Host
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: It’s nice to be able to show the fun side of me rather than the serious news presenter.
PHOBIAS: The idea of small, enclosed spaces with cockroaches and spiders is horrific!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I will give out hugs and make the food more edible!
MISS MOST: My comfortable bed and lovely bath.
DREAM CAMPER: Angelina Jolie and Daniel Craig – we wouldn’t have a problem getting stars if he were in the Castle.
CLAIM TO FAME: Olympic Gold Medallist
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People always see me as very composed and serious on the diving board. This will be a nice opportunity to let people get to know me better.
PHOBIAS: I don’t like rats.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I don’t mind helping out with cleaning.
MISS MOST: My bed!
DREAM CAMPER: Ed Sheeran and Will Smith
CLAIM TO FAME: Radio 1Xtra DJ
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People know me as a very bubbly person but when I am outside of my comfort zone, I can be shy.
PHOBIAS: Bugs, heights and I’m claustrophobic.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I love twerking on a Friday night and I’m going to teach everyone how to do it in the Castle!
MISS MOST: My cat and lip gloss.
DREAM CAMPER: Jim Carrey and Big Narstie.
CLAIM TO FAME: TV presenter and journalist
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: Nothing. I don’t worry about what people think.
PHOBIAS: Heights. I’m not sure how I will feel if I have to walk across a plank very high up!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Cook and interviewer. I love finding out about people’s lives.
MISS MOST: Aside from Judy and my family, not knowing what is happening in the news. I am a news junkie.
DREAM CAMPER: The late Jimmy Greaves. I would have loved to chat about goal scoring in the Castle with him.
DAME ARLENE PHILLIPS, DBE
DAME ARLENE PHILLIPS, DBE
CLAIM TO FAME: Choreographer
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People don’t really know the real me at home and I’d like to show people the motherly side, the side my family sees.
PHOBIAS: I am hoping I will overcome my fears to take part in the Trials!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum and to organise some fun dance routines!
MISS MOST: My notepad and pencil –I am known for always having to write down ideas.
DREAM CAMPER: Giovanna Fletcher –she is such a lovely, warm person.
CLAIM TO FAME: Producer
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People don’t know the real me and I want everyone to get to know me.
PHOBIAS: Confined spaces and heights but I want to give the Trials a go to bring back some stars.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Castle chef and someone who everyone can confide in.
MISS MOST: My mum. I live with her and it’s going to be hard being away from her.
DREAM CAMPER: Sir Elton John would be amazing.
KADEENA COX, MBE
KADEENA COX, MBE
CLAIM TO FAME: Paralympic Gold Medallist
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: Great to be able to show people with all disabilities they can try different things in life.
PHOBIAS: Snakes, rats, spiders, heights – everything!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Chef – so long as there isn’t too much pressure to make the food interesting!
MISS MOST: TikTok, my mum and dog.
DREAM CAMPER: Thierry Henry –I love watching Arsenal play.
CLAIM TO FAME: Football legend
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: None because I never hide behind a false image. What you see is what you get.
PHOBIAS: I am going to tell you when I am in the Castle!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Chef. I enjoy cooking at home and I will be hoping to add some garlic and rosemary to the food.
MISS MOST: My partner and my little girl. It’s going to be tough.
CLAIM TO FAME: The Saturdays star
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People think if you are in a pop group, you lead a glamorous lifestyle and won’t get stuck in, but I’m determined to muck in with all the chores.
PHOBIAS: Spiders, rats and confined spaces scare me.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: The serial hugger.
MISS MOST: Wayne and my boys.
DREAM CAMPER: Larry Lamb or a father figure type.
CLAIM TO FAME: Emmerdale actor
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: None but I would like to show everyone what I am like in real life rather than my soap character, Aaron Dingle.
PHOBIAS: I am absolutely dreading the eating Trials! I fear I will gag!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: A shoulder to cry on and a person everyone can come to if they have a problem.
MISS MOST: My fiancée, Steph, and our new baby.
DREAM CAMPER: Fred Sirieix or any ex football player. I won’t be able to leave them alone asking lots of questions!