I’M A Celebrity bosses are secretly planning to keep the show in Wales next year — despite more than half of viewers telling a Sun survey they want a return to Oz.
In our poll, 55 per cent said ITV should ditch the temporary venue of Gwrych Castle and head back to the jungle in Murwillumbah, New South Wales.
Only 23 per cent actually preferred the haunted 19th-century pile.
Yet we can reveal producers have already inquired about local storage, saying they would require the space for the next two years at least.
Production chiefs want a place big enough to house the purpose-built sets and trials built in just ten weeks to get the current series on air.
HOAR has previously revealed how producers had asked about future use of the castle on alternate years — meaning 2021 would see the series return to Australia, before coming back to Wales in 2022.
But because of bumper viewing figures and the pandemic they are considering keeping it in Wales next year too.
A source said: “The show has been warmly received by a lot of people. Its viewing figures broke records as curious fans tuned in to see how different it looked, and millions stayed.
“They only had ten weeks to prepare for life in Wales and they’ve pulled it off brilliantly.
“This shows it could be filmed anywhere but, if the world is open for business as usual next year, they would prefer it to be Oz.
“So bosses are looking at the feasibility of it staying put for now.
“Australia is brilliant, and where the show belongs.
“But equally there’s a cost element to flying a production half way around the world when they’ve now laid a successful blueprint for it in the UK.”
Executive producer Richard Cowles admitted the forced move from Australia had opened their eyes to a full-time UK-based show.
He said: “Australia has been I’m A Celebrity’s natural home and the Welsh version was born out of necessity rather than choice.
“But we’ve learned a lot and so maybe there is a UK incarnation of the show.
“We will look at what being in Wales means for the format going forward. Is it something we would want to do again, or do we want to return to Australia?”
In HOAR poll of more than 1,000 viewers, 84 per cent said Ant and Dec — hosting their 20th series — were as good, or better, than ever this year.
But 55 per cent thought the castle was “too warm and comfortable” for the celebs.
And 62 per cent said they think there should either be a promise of no harm to animals or a total ban on trials involving critters in future series.
Ahead of the final, it was actually Olympic hero Sir Mo Farah who viewers said was their best-liked campmate, finishing 0.4 per cent ahead of Jordan North.
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