Posted: Wed 21st Oct 2020

North Wales Minister Ken Skates says allowing I’m a Celebrity filming to go ahead ‘can unite people’ for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

The Welsh Government’s Minister for North Wales has said allowing filming for this year’s I’m a Celebrity series to go ahead could help to unite people.

Plans for the popular ITV reality show to be hosted at Gwrych Castle near Abergele were put in doubt yesterday by the announcement of a fire-break lockdown in Wales.

But Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, has confirmed preparations for the programme will be able to proceed, as long as as producers observe rules designed to stop the spread of Covid-19.

When questioned about the issue at yesterday’s Welsh Government press conference, the Clwyd South MS said: “Clearly, I’m delighted that the series is being filmed in in North Wales at Gwrych Castle, which is a phenomenal location.

“If it can continue in a COVID-safe way, then clearly, it has long term benefits in terms of promoting North Wales.

“I know that the producers of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! are incredibly keen to demonstrate that they can produce a show of this nature during a pandemic in a responsible way.

“It may well be that the television watching public just need something like that right now because as a number of journalists have identified, there is a wellbeing and mental health crisis at the moment.

“We do need things that can unite people and this sort of programme can often do that.”

The owners of Gwrych Castle provided further clarity on how the producers will meet the requirements of the coronavirus legislation in a post on Facebook yesterday.

They said: “Following the announcement today from the First Minister, the overriding message is that filming CAN continue in Wales providing related activity cannot be undertaken from home, and there is full compliance with Welsh law.

“Welsh Government guidance on COVID-19 should also be followed.

“This includes a legal obligation and guidance on taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace, compliance with relevant industry guidelines for physical production.

“We cannot wait to see I’m A Celebrity on our screens!”

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