I’m A Celebrity will not air for a third night.
ITV confirmed on Monday morning that they are unable to broadcast their flagship show for a third night after storm Arwen devastated Gwrych Castle where the show is filmed.
Former I’m A Celeb contestant Matthew Wright revealed the news on This Morning on Monday, with the newly cancelled episode meaning just six installments of this series have aired while three have been scrapped.
Chaos: ITV confirmed on Monday morning that they are unable to broadcast their flagship show I’m A Celeb for a third night after storm Arwen devastated Gwrych Castle
Earlier in the day bosses had insisted they were ‘working around the clock’ to get the show up and running, following Storm Arwen and Richard Madeley‘s untimely departure.
Matthew confirmed the show had been cancelled on Monday during his appearance on This Morning with Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, explaining that staff members worked from a large tent to watch and edit the day’s footage quickly to get the episode on air.
They have been unable to work in the temporary structure because of the extreme weather. Matthew went on to describe the surroundings of the castle as ‘like Glastonbury’.
The show has been beset by disasters – with fans begging for the programme to go on hiatus until it can return to Australia while it has now emerged it could be set for even more delays.
Nightmare: Earlier in the day bosses had insisted they were ‘working around the clock’ to get the show up and running following Storm Arwen
Insiders at ITV told MailOnline earlier on Monday: ‘This is an on-going live situation and we’re taking each day as it comes and working round the clock. Our priority is safely getting the whole site back up and running which means the show is back on air in the quickest time possible.
‘We’re currently not in a position to confirm when we’ll be back on air but we’ll absolutely keep you posted when we get more updates.’
Fans have speculated the series could be cancelled altogether, with one asking on Twitter: ‘if the show gets back on air will they keep the show on longer to make up the days lost? It’s barely on 21 days as it is and we are a celeb down and lost 2-3 days already. Show feels pointless this year.’
Another quipped that the show could be saved with a speedy change of format. ‘Perfect opportunity to put the celebs in a house and convert this series of #ImACeleb into a series of Big Brother! Bring back #BBUK!’
The first week of the reality show, now in its second year at Wales’ Gwrych Castle, has already seen the departure of hotly-anticipated contestant Richard due to illness, cancelled shows due to extreme weather conditions and stars removed from the castle after Storm Arwen sent a 100ft tree crashing into a wall of the building.
According to The Sun, as the falling tree was lifted by the wind and smashed into the castle ramparts, a second, also 100ft tall, was flung through the air, ending up on a path near Cledwyn’s Kiosk.
A source told the publication of the possible delays to the show coming back on air: ‘This is a crushing blow. No one anticipated the disaster that this storm would cause and it has completely blindsided us.
‘The worst damage is to one of our three production areas – the tent where we keep the scanners, the TV editing suite, the production office and our IT equipment. From the outside, it is wrecked.
‘At the moment, we still don’t know what the damage done to the equipment is, as we can’t go in until it has been declared safe.
Two episodes of the show were cancelled over weekend because of the disruption to production caused by the storm with the castle said to currently be ‘looking like a war zone’.
Considerable damage was sustained to the grounds of the castle where the production crew have set up shop, with scaffolding knocked over and the roof of a marquee ripped off.
A source told The Sun there’s every chance the show’s stars could have to be removed from the castle again with a 700-mile wide Arctic weather front set for Abergele, North Wales in the coming days.
Australia? Showing that they were pining for the jungle, hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly posted a video over the weekend: ‘Bless you. Sorry we can’t be there but hope you’re enjoying seeing the show in Oz again! D x’
The insider said: ‘The nightmare caused by Storm Arwen is never ending. Bosses are working around the clock to get the show back on air — but with more storms forecast for the coming days, the morale is low.’
Snow is forecast for Thursday and Friday with temperatures in the area set to plummet to a chilling -5C.
Hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly shared a video to their Instagram account on Sunday night admitting show bosses were still unsure when the programme would be ‘up and running’ again.
They said: ‘Hello and welcome to We’re Celebrities… Get Us In There! We’re desperate to get back on the telly. I’ve got an update.
Damage: A marquee set up near the castle appeared to have some of its roof ripped off following Storm Arwen
Difficulties: Members of the production crew were seen trying to deal with some of the damage sustained from the inclement weather
Dec added: ‘The site was quiet badly damaged during the storm. They are in there, working around the clock to try and get it back up and running and back up to speed so we can get back on air as quickly as humanly possible. We don’t know when that’s going to be just yet.’
Ant said: ‘Fingers crossed. Little update from us, we went on the coldest walk ever today didn’t we? It was very cold. Last night’s Saturday night takeaway was very nice and tonight, dinner is round Dec’s! What do you have here?
‘Crisps,’ Dec replied to which Ant said: ‘Crisps it is!’
Dec finished the video with: ‘We’ll be back with more information when we have it.’
Nightmare: It was thought that the gale at 70 mph knocked out satellite systems and caused huge technical disruption for the production crew
Destruction: As exclusive pictures show, marquees where presenters Ant and Dec are driven into were ripped to shreds
Fears of further disruption were made worse after a power cut hit large parts of Abergele.
According to ITV News, many homes and business in the local area have been hit by the cut after a ‘large bang’ was heard in the area.
A spokesperson for SP Energy told the broadcaster: ‘Storm Arwen has resulted in significant damage to our network affecting supplies in Mid Wales and North Wales. Our engineers have been working to restore power to as many customers as possible throughout the day and night.
“We have additional engineers out that are continuing to assess and repair the damage to the network.
‘Due to the extent of the damage we know that the time to restore supplies will be longer than usual, however, we will strive to restore all customers as quickly and safely as possible in stages by 6pm on Monday 29th November. We are sorry for any inconvenience.’
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Australia’s subsequent border restrictions, it is unclear when the show will return to Australia – with the immediate future of this year’s series also up in the air.
Up in the air: Ant and Dec shared a video to their Instagram account on Sunday night admitting show bosses were still unsure when the programme would be ‘up and running’ again
Showing that they were pining for the jungle also, hosts Ant and Dec responded to a fan on Saturday: ‘Bless you. Sorry we can’t be there but hope you’re enjoying seeing the show in Oz again! D x’
The compilation clips which aired on Saturday threw things back to the glory days in Australia with archive footage of the show’s funniest and most iconic moments from the last 19 years, with a voiceover from Ant and Dec.
But some viewers at home appeared unimpressed as they claimed the throwback show just highlighted ‘how much better it was in Australia’ and urged the network to ‘scrap’ the show until it could return to the jungle.
Stars have been forced to endure freezing 8°C cold temperatures and no protection from the elements after bosses shelled out £1 million to secure use of the site when production was forced to be relocated from Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions.
They added that seeing the show at its best in the jungle down under just made them aware of how much this year’s show fell short of their expectations.
Will it go on? The show has been beset by disasters – with fans begging for the show to go on hiatus until it can return to Australia and Ant and Dec admitting they are missing the Australian jungle (pictured Wales’ Gwrych Castle)
Taking to Twitter, one viewer wrote: ‘Slight backfire for ITV with the Legends #imaceleb programme just highlighting how much better it was Australia…’
Another added: ‘Watching this makes you realise how p**s poor it is now, just scrap it till it can be done in Australia again.’
A third lamented: ‘This is making me miss it being in Australia so much!’
A fourth chimed in: ‘These flashback shows show that the show used to be a lot more brutal than it is now, and it’s also so much better in the jungle!’
Storm Arwen impact: The roofs were ripped off and canopies torn apart as the gales struck
‘Can’t wait for when it goes back to jungle. Watching this show just reminds how good it is,’ gushed another.
Ant and Dec did not present Friday’s episode live for the first time in the show’s 19-year history and filmed their segments earlier in the afternoon ahead of the storm worsening.
In a major blow to the show as one of their top signings, Richard Madeley, who was paid an estimated £200,000 to star in this year’s competition, was taken ill on Thursday hours after participating in a gruelling trial and complaining about the castle’s freezing temperatures.
The presenter, 65, was unable to return as he has broken the show’s ‘Covid bubble’. A ‘gutted’ Richard reassured Ant and Dec he was ‘fit as a fiddle’ and has been given a ‘clean bill of health’ in his first interview after leaving the I’m A Celebrity camp during Friday night’s episode.
Safety first: ITV took extra precautions to ensure the celebrities were safe, but the devastation was felt around the set with a three week programme going out nightly
Keeping track: Urgent checks had been made to satellite equipment to ensure that Ant & Dec can resume live broadcasts on Saturday, after Friday night’s live show was cancelled and pre-recorded material used due to storm warnings
In a pre-recorded chat the broadcaster told the Geordie duo that ‘if it wasn’t for Covid, he’d still be in the game’ and that ITV were ‘adamant’ he was sent to hospital to be checked over.
On Friday’s episode Richard joined Ant and Dec for an interview and joked as he mimed removing a thermometer: ‘I’ll just remove the thermometer… yes, still normal.’
Asked if he was feeling okay the star said: ‘I feel as fit as a fiddle and I am fit as a fiddle. And you know if it wasn’t for Covid I’d be back there sort of eating rice and beans.
‘I had to leave… it’s a Covid situation. It’s still biting our bums isn’t it? What happened was, I had just a funny little turn quite sort of late in the morning.’
Got out of there: In a major blow to the show as one of their top signings, Richard Madeley, who was paid an estimated £200,000 to star in this year’s competition, was taken ill on Thursday hours after participating in a gruelling trial and complaining about the castle’s freezing temperatures
Missed out: DJ Locksmith was reportedly lined up to be Richard’s replacement but has lost out on an I’m Celeb stint after his hospital visit broke ‘Covid bubble’
Chaos: The I’m A Celebrity campmates have recently been removed from Gwrych Castle as Storm Arwen continues to cause technical difficulties
He continued: ‘ITV are so good with duty of care. They were adamant. They said ‘No, we have to make sure that you’re OK.’ I said, ‘But I am OK.’ They said, ‘We have to make sure.’ So I went to the local hospital – I was only in there for about an hour and a half – I was given really thorough checks and I was given a completely clean bill of health, I’m absolutely fine. No matter what you might have read, I’m absolutely fine.’
At the start of the episode, the other campmates were informed that Richard wouldn’t be coming back and were shown a video message.
In the clip Richard said: ‘Hi guys, first thing to tell you straight away is I’m completely fine, it was what was known as a false alarm but I had to come out for a couple of hours of medical checks.
‘I’m as fit as a fiddle in which case I could/should be back in with you right now. But it’s our old friend Covid, I had to come out into the Covid world and I can’t risk bringing the bug back in with me and ruining the experience for you guys, the programme and the viewers. So that’s it, my adventure is over.’
Weather: The remaining stars will individually return to quarantine to ensure they remain covid secure and will only return once the whole production is safely re-established
He continued: ‘I just want to say how much I love you, you know I mean that and how much I’m grateful to you for everything you’ve said and done for me over the past few days and I’m going to set up that WhatsApp group we spoke about for when you come out.
‘We can all talk to each other again and hopefully meet up. Anyway, I’ll be watching over the next few weeks and I wish you all the love and luck in the world, I can’t wait to see who wins.’
Richard was set to be replaced by DJ Locksmith from Rudimental, but he reportedly lost on the spot after he was rushed to hospital. No celebrity will be entering the camp to replace him.
The stars will individually go back into quarantine to ensure they remain covid secure and will only return once the whole production is safely re-established, the technical difficulties are sorted out and the weather conditions died down.
Safety first: The stars of this year’s series will be spending the night out of the castle due to the treacherous storm
ITV have not confirmed where the stars are quarantining while they wait for the damage to be repaired.
Before entering the castle the celebrities had been individually isolating in luxury cottages in Angelsey near Gwrych Castle, staying in the cosy boltholes for two weeks to ensure the set would be covid-safe.
The stars were treated to luxury holiday homes which boast vaulted ceilings and weather-proof windows and sliding doors which frame idyllic views.
The properties, which are a far-cry from the dire conditions at the I’m A Celeb castle also have a richly decorated snugs, complete with dark walls, fire places and huge sofas.
The places are also decked out with kingsize beds, rolltop baths and a picturesque patio.
Safe: The stars will individually go back into quarantine to ensure they remain covid secure and will only return once the whole production is safely re-established. ITV have not confirmed where the stars are quarantining while they wait for the damage to be repaired
Wow: Before entering the castle the celebrities had been individually isolating in luxury cottages in Angelsey near Gwrych Castle, staying in the cosy boltholes for two weeks to ensure the set would be covid-safe
New digs: The celebs shared a look at their pre-show digs which boast vaulted ceilings and weather-proof windows and sliding doors which frame idyllic views, pictured stand-in celeb DJ Locksmith
Cosy: The properties, which are a far-cry from the dire conditions at the I’m A Celeb castle also have a richly decorated snugs, complete with dark walls, fire places and huge sofas
The interiors pay homage to the seascape which surrounds them with hues of blue, green and cream and have plenty of beach paraphernalia on the walls as decoration.
It comes as I’m a Celebrity’s production was left ‘like a bomb had hit’ as the storm unleashed its full force onto the castle where the eleven stars are holed up.
Security staff and production workers had ‘to run for their lives’ and were ‘blown off their feet’ as 70mph winds battered the 19th century Gwrych Castle in North Wales.
As exclusive pictures show, marquees where presenters Ant and Dec are driven into were ripped to shreds, while roofs were ripped off and canopies torn apart as the gales struck.
Change: Ant and Dec posted a short clip of themselves at Ant’s Welsh cottage on Saturday ahead of the compilation show and said: ‘Hello and welcome to I’m A Celeb, live from my cottage kitchen, this is the best we can do at the minute as we can’t get into site at the minute’
ITV took extra precautions to ensure the celebrities were safe, but the devastation was felt around the set with a three week programme going out nightly.
Urgent checks had initially been made to satellite equipment to ensure that Ant & Dec can resume live broadcasts on Saturday, after Friday night’s live show was cancelled and pre-recorded material used due to storm warnings.
A source said: ‘It was terrifying. Down at the front of the castle people were running everywhere to try and secure property and the fencing.
‘People were blown off their feet. Thankfully nobody was seriously injured.
Tragic: Following shots exhibited the damage done to a subsequent tent, which had collapsed into a recreational vehicle and exposed a series of metal poles
Terrifying: Sections of its roof had blown away, which exposed scaffolding structures and demountable buildings beneath to strong wind and rain
‘But it looks like a bomb has hit the site today. The roofs of the marquees have been ripped or torn off and equipment is lying on on its side along with the fencing.
‘It is devastating. But producers have been brilliant in bringing in extra staff and taking extra measures.’
The celebs had to be cordoned off from everyone else who is not a part of the anti-covid bubble and were kept in a safe area as the overnight storm struck.
Security staff stay in caravans at the front of the castle and the battering sent Christmas lights installed there flying.
On Saturday, urgent clearing up was taking place and repairs will be carried out to the marquees, where Ant & Dec and all others who arrive undergo security checks and asked to disinfect their hands.
Weather woes: The castle had been taking a weather battering with gale force winds and driving rain bringing down tree branches and safety signs
Bad weather: Fencing and signs had been blown over in the area surrounding the derelict Welsh castle
Better days? Viewers at home were left unimpressed by I’m A Celebs compilation show on Saturday as they said it proved the Australia series were so much better (Ant and Dec pictured in Australia in 2019)
Elsewhere, further images taken on Saturday morning show the extreme weather’s devastating impact upon a large white tent, which protected a series of trailers and vans for production of the show, with onlookers claiming all non-essential crew have been taken off site due to the dangerous conditions.
Bosses were forced to pre-record Friday’s show amid safety concerns for contestants at Gwrych Castle in North Wales, with hosts Ant and Dec recording their segments earlier that afternoon.
Sections of the tent’s roof had blown away, which exposed scaffolding structures and demountable buildings beneath to strong wind and rain.
Following shots exhibited the damage done to a subsequent tent, which had collapsed into a recreational vehicle and exposed a series of metal poles.
‘Slight backfire for ITV…’ Viewers at home appeared unimpressed by the compromise and urged the network to ‘scrap’ the show until it could return to the jungle