We might be enjoying some welcome August sunshine at present, but thoughts have turned in recent days to one of our fabulous winter TV staples
Since 2003, our attention before Chrimbo has turned in titanic numbers to a certain jungle camp in Queensland, Australia
Populated by numerous celebrities invariably in a degree of career desperation, confronted by insects and unpalatable body parts, two impossibly chirpy Geordies, and a range of fiendishly-devised trials. In searing heat, but with occasionally biblical rainstorms.
It’s the televisual sensation that is I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here! Ladies have in the past cemented themselves into telly folklore by merely carrying out their daily ablutions, while those during their travails showing either outstanding courage or being a toe-curling cowardy-custard have seen similar profile gains off any known scales.
However, show bosses had a big problem. Covid has scuppered prospects for 2020 in Australia at least, and it’s been reported in recent days that a new format will be adopted for this year, given these very special circumstances.
So, ladies and gentlefolk, this season’s glorious nonsense will allegedly be beamed into your homes from a ruined North Wales castle no less. It will doubtless be freezing, and they’ll be lots of jokes about ramparts. Might even have to eat some.
We recently interviewed former contestant Antony Costa and got his thoughts on the whole thing.
“I don’t know what’s gonna happen this year.” Costa said.
“How are they going to do it if the 2 metre social distancing rule is still in play?
“Obviously, I’m still going to watch it!” Like the rest of us then, Antony!
There’s been speculation that the Welsh adventure could free up some capital to invest in the calibre of competing stars, as the overheads will be considerably less than usual.
An obvious thought – will three weeks or so in a cold, draughty old rundown fortification do it for our gallant celebs? In Oz you’ve got the obvious attraction of the weather, scenery, and the chance to lose some weight on the rice-and-beans diet.
Some of the weight-loss figures have been staggering, over such a relatively short space of time. Rugby’s James Haskell was said to have lost nearly 2 stone during his time in camp. Rebekah Vardy lost around 14lbs, and even the fragrant Georgia ‘Toff’ Toffolo, a tiddler really already, shed about 9lbs.
I’m thinking these figures will not be repeated during a Welsh winter …. just a hunch, but there you go. Mind you, to balance things out, there may be a day trip to Rhyl. Kiosk Kev in an amusement arcade. A swimming test in the chill December waters on Talacre Beach. I can see it now. Survive 20 minutes and you get immunity from the ‘Take on the Welsh front row’ challenge.
Some Welsh celebs taking part might be nice, for a bit of local flavour and all that. Gareth Bale doesn’t seem to be up to a great lot at present, and if a golfing challenge of sorts is dangled in front of him he’s a sure thing.
Kathryn Jenkins would be a personal favourite (no, I’m not going to elaborate), while Ruth Jones could provide the laughs. How about Ioan Gruffudd, the devilishly-handsome Hornblower/Fantastic Four star? Isn’t it exciting? The reality will probably be H from Steps. Ah well.
When we know more, we can pontificate further. Just for now, be assured that whatever the format, we’ll have lots of markets, some vaguely sensible and several totally bonkers, for your added entertainment.
A King or Queen of the Castle will be crowned. In thermals and a balaclava. Magic.