Ant and Dec ‘fought to set I’m A Celeb in north-east England’ when show moved to the UK – but lost out to Wales

ANT and Dec fought for I'm A Celeb to be moved to north-east England when they were told Australia was not an option owing to the coronavirus.

The Geordie duo were desperate to set up camp near their hometown of Newcastle upon Tyne when the ITV show was moved to the UK – but lost out to Wales.

Ant and Dec, both 44, were raised in Tyne and Wear and hoped their status as the show's long-running hosts would give them sway in saying where it was filmed.

The friends have lived in London for over 20 years and dished they'd "pitched a lot of castles" including Lindisfarne Castle nestled off the north-east coast on Holy Island.

Another regal location put forward was Warkworth Castle – just 29 miles from their toon.

Dec admitted they were excited at the prospect of being closer to family: “I said we should put them all on Holy Island, let’s all go to Lindisfarne (castle), get them all there.”

And Ant chipped in: "You’ve got Warkworth castle, we pitched a lot of castles – we tried."

Though they put up a good fight the production team eventually settled on Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales.

Gwrych Castle was hired for more than £1million for six weeks after Covid-19 ruled out the usual setting in the Australian jungle

Ant confessed they're still getting used to the idea of making the show in the UK, telling Steve and Karen's Breakfast Show on TFM: "There is going to be a real curiosity for what it’s going to be like, from us more than anybody.

"It’s going to be fun, everybody loves I’m a Celebrity and we are used to it being one way and we are doing it a different way – let’s see what happens."

He added about the cast: "The casting is looking really strong at the moment, the celebs will be really good, they’ll be up for it.

"We live in a different world this year than we normally do, so everybody kind of understands the reasons why, we just can’t wait to get going."

The Sun revealed yesterday I’m A Celebrity bosses have broken the bank to transform derelict Gwrych Castle into a TV set.

Millions have been shelled out to make the early 19th-century building safe, with the installation of electrics and hundreds of yards of pipes for running water.

And in a first for the popular reality show, the stars will sleep under a roof to protect them from the harsh Welsh winter.

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