With the coronavirus pandemic making overseas travel impossible, this year’s celebrity campmates will be swapping the Australian jungle for a new home in Gwrych Castle in Wales, a 200-year-old building that some believe is “haunted”.
But with lockdown measures limiting the number of visitors that have been able to visit the castle in 2020, head of the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust Mark Baker told the Radio Times that ITV’s £300,000 payment to use the castle would act as a lifeline for many local workers.
“It would usually take us over two years to raise £300,000,” Baker said.
“With the second wave of Covid, the programme has saved not only us but many local businesses. Hundreds of jobs have kept going because ITV have employed them on site.”
The architectural historian also admitted that he had initially ignored emails from ITV as he’d assumed them to be spam, with the show’s name only being revealed when they were “very close” to signing contracts in July.
With a history dating back to 1810, Gwrych Castle is a spectacular Grade 1 listed country house in the moors of Conwys, north Wales.
The castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of Winifred Cochrane, Countess of Dundonald, a poet, landowner and patron of the Welsh arts who supposedly had a grudge against her husband. Visitors claim to have seen an angry woman in white stalking her way along the walls.
I’m a Celebrity begins on Sunday 15 November at 9pm on ITV.