The new series of I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! may still be a good few months away, but the series has been in the headlines a lot in recent months amid speculation about what will happen due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After plenty of rumours about how the show could work in 2020, it’s now been confirmed that ITV is taking a different approach this time around, swapping the jungle for a “ruined castle” in the British countryside.
With names beginning to be linked to the series, we thought it was a good time to check in on all the celebrities tipped to be competing to become the first King or Queen of the Castle so far...
The former Family Fortunes and T4 presenter has been quietly hosting Formula One coverage for the last few years, but according to The Mirror, he’s said to have signed a £250,000 deal to take part in this year’s series, according to The Mirror.
The Sun claimed bosses had approached her with a big money offer, but it has since been reported she is now mulling over appearing on the upcoming series of Dancing With The Stars in the US, which would air at the same time as the ITV show, prompting a bidding war to get her to sign up.
Less than a month later, the tabloids claimed he was in talks to enter I’m a Celebrity – rumours he did little to deny when they were put to him in an interview on Channel 4’s The Steph Show.
He said: “Well, let me put it like this, I’ve just cleaned out the loft as my mum has a list of jobs for us to do. The amount of spiders up there, I was screaming my head off. So, if anything like that did happen, it would be hilarious – that’s for sure!”
Coronation Street legend Liz McDonald is set to depart our screens in the coming months, leaving actor Bev Callard with some more time on her hands.
Back in April, The Mirror suggested she will be heading Down Under come the autumn, claiming she was the first star to sign up for this year’s series.
Pop star Jessie J is no stranger to TV audiences, having served as a judge on The Voice both in the UK and Australia, but it seems bosses are hoping to get her to swap spinning chairs for creepy crawlies.
The Sun reported that Jessie had been offered “good money” to take part in I’m A Celebrity, but quoted an unnamed source who claimed she wasn’t sure the show “was for her”.
The ex-Arsenal midfielder’s name was mentioned in the same report linking Jessie J to the show, with The Sun suggesting that he was keen to relaunch his TV career after seeing football boss Harry Redknapp win the show in 2018.
In fact, Paul is just one of a few former footballers who have been rumoured for the show.
England legend John Barnes threw his own hat into the ring during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show back in March, alongside aforementioned King Of The Jungle Harry Redknapp.
John – who has previously been a housemate on Celebrity Big Brother – said: “From the point of view of eating anything, I eat everything and anything, so from that point of view I would do it.
“Lying around doing nothing much, I quite fancy so I’d probably look at it as a bit of a holiday.” He added: “I would do it, yeah.”
Another big footballing name said to be taking part in I’m A Celebrity is former Manchester United star Eric Cantona.
This came after executive producer Richard Cowles named Eric as his dream signing for the show, telling The Sun: “I just like the idea of Eric Cantona talking in French and coming up with really profound things. That would be good.”
When asked about the reports during a recent interview on ITV’s Lorraine, The Vivienne seemed more than up for the challenge, telling the presenter: “Do you know what, I’ve never even thought about it really but what an absolutely amazing opportunity that would be!
“I’m petrified of spiders but get me to that jungle, I’d do it! What a great life opportunity that I’m never going to get again... I am all for that!”
Matt signed off from a 10-year stint presenting The One Show back in the spring, and while he’s still got commitments with Countryfile, he was tipped to get used to a whole new outdoor environment on I’m A Celebrity, after being named as a potential contestant by bookies.
While random suggestions from bookmakers aren’t usually the best indication of who will eventually end up taking part, he didn’t completely dismiss the idea during an interview with Hello magazine.
“I haven’t had any conversations yet,” he said, but added: “I am reluctant to say no to anything without having a good think about it.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.