Sunday's new series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here! is set to have more trials and more stars taking part in them than ever.

Producers of the ITV show said they had come into the 2021 series with "more ambition" and set out to make it "much tougher" for the contestants.

The flagship series is returning to Gwrych Castle near Abergele in North Wales for a second year due to ongoing coronavirus travel restrictions, preventing filming at its usual location in the Australian jungle.

The celebrities, including Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, ex-footballer David Ginola and journalist Louise Minchin, also face the prospect of having to spend the first few days in The Clink, as this year's show will initially split the camp in half.

Frankie Bridge

The contestants will first battle it out in a challenge called Turrets of Terror, which will settle who will stay in the main camp, which is largely unchanged from the 2020 show; and the undesirable and gloomy Clink, where the losing stars will sleep on a hard floor and shower in the dark.

"Life will be made much tougher for the celebrities who end up in The Clink," creative director Tom Gould said.

"This is the biggest change for us and it will change the dynamic at the start of the series.

"Obviously, as a group coming into the castle last year, they were 10 celebrities all together from day one. Whereas this time - it's something we've done in Australia in the past - we've got these two groups, and that does change the dynamic and has an impact over the first few shows.

David Ginola

"It could then mean that when they do come together that they do come together very quickly or it might not have that effect.

"I think it just adds a different dimension to their personal experience."

Presenting duo Ant and Dec's main studio remains unchanged but producers are tight-lipped on whether to expect any late arrivals.

Speaking about the new series, executive director Olly Nash said: "We did set out at the beginning to make it much tougher.

Louise Minchin

"They're in for longer, the trials are bigger. The trials were quite limited last year but this year they're much closer to the Australian series in terms of their scale."

"There are more trials over the whole series than we have ever had before, and I think there are more trialists, more celebrities who take part in trials across the series than ever before in any other series," he continued.

"It's just the learnings of having one series here and what's possible.

"I think we've come into it with more ambition. There are 24 trials this year."

Ant and Dec are back as hosts

Gould said recent vandalism at the castle had not affected preparations for the latest series.

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here! starts on Sunday 21 November at 9pm on Virgin Media One and ITV.

Source: Press Association

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