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ITV’s I’m a Celebrity heads home

ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is usually produced in Australia

ITV is relocating this year’s edition of competition reality show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! from Australia to the UK amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The broadcaster, which yesterday reported a 17% plunge in first-half revenues due to the impact of the novel coronavirus, including an historic 43% drop in second-quarter advertising, confirmed the plan today.

The 20th season of I’m a Celebrity will be broadcast live every night from a ruined castle in the English countryside rather than the Australian jungle, with usual hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly presiding.

“We announced last week that we were doing all we could to make the series and I’m thrilled that we can bring the show to viewers, albeit not in the jungle,” said ITV’s director of television, Kevin Lygo.

“We pulled out all the stops to try and make the series happen in Australia,” added ITV Studios director of entertainment Richard Cowles.

“Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and despite us looking at many different contingencies, it became apparent that it just wasn’t possible for us to travel and make the show there.

“However, we are all really excited about a UK version of I’m a Celebrity. While it will certainly be different producing the show from the UK, the same tone and feel will remain.”

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said yesterday: “This has been one of the most challenging times in the history of ITV. I am really proud of the way that our colleagues have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic and helped demonstrate the enduring value of ITV.”

The company said it had been forced to shutdown 230 shows produced in-house at the height of the pandemic but has now managed to get 70% of these up and running again, including stalwart soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale, although hit dating reality format Love Island remains pushed back to 2021.

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