Walk down the main street in Abergele, and you’re in no doubt that I’m A Celebrity is in town.
And if the show’s hosts fancy a balti, a new caravan or any dental work during the series, it’s clear they’ll be well catered for.
All down the street, shops have window displays featuring Ant and Dec’s faces.
A paint shop promises to cater for all your Dec-orating needs, accompanied by a picture of Mr Donnelly.
“I’m an optician,” boasts another window “get your eyes tested here!”
Production of the show has been moved to north Wales because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Contestants including Radio 1’s Jordan North and Eastenders’ Shane Richie will move in this weekend ahead of Sunday night’s launch show.
Radio 1 Newsbeat was given rare access to the site right before filming started.
But before we even got near the castle, it was clear the town was buzzing.
Helping to document it all is Angela Jones, who normally works at the Venue Cymru theatre in Llandudno but is now off furlough thanks to I’m A Celeb.
And she’s not the only local enjoying a return to working life.
“There’s a big team at the castle doing all the technical stuff,” she says. “Helping ITV with a bit of local knowledge.
“I myself have been pulled in to work on an art exhibition.
“It’s been amazing because I’ve not been able to work for about eight months. Being able to get back out the house, have a bit of routine – see daylight and see people – it’s great!”
“There’s been a lot of hype,” she goes on. “We’ve seen a couple of helicopters flying over the last few days. So everyone’s on tenterhooks.”
So there’s only one thing left to ask Angela. Which way to Gwrych Castle?
(If you’re not up to speed with the pronunciation, it’s guu-REEKH, ending with a ‘ch’ sound as in ‘loch’.)
She points us in the right direction with a final warning: “Apparently it’s haunted.”
“I was in the castle last year and it’s really creepy. Like, you’re walking around and things definitely bump.
“They are gonna need their thermals in there too.”
At the castle, it’s clear she’s right about the thermals. The breeze coming in off the Irish Sea is bitter.
First impressions? The castle feels, and smells, old. There’s the undeniable air of a graveyard among the ancient stones.
The camp area, with its ivy-clad walls, feels very atmospheric. Hammocks and single beds are ready to receive their occupants.
The sleeping bags feel thicker than usual but it’s clear keeping warm will be a challenge.
The contestants will need to collect wood and keep their boiler pumped up for hot water.
And for a shower, celebrities will have to work in pairs, one pumping while the other stands under a dribbling watering can.
Among the ruins is – surely – the busiest man in television right now. His name’s Tom Gould and he’s the show’s creative director.
Tom is getting ready for a programme that will be starkly different from its usual run but, at the same time, needs to feel familiar.
“There will still be a lot of elements that viewers will know and love,” he tells us. “They will still be celebrities stripped of their luxuries, they will still be facing their fears, they will still be living in a camp on basic rations of rice and beans.
“But dealing with the environment in Wales… is going to be a very different proposition to Australia. And also they’ll be living in the castle and contending with whatever surprises that might have in store for them.”
Ghosts? “That’s not for me to say. You can ask the celebrities after three weeks living there.”
So far, so enigmatic. What other behind-the-scenes nuggets can Tom let us know?
Well, the dunny is now the privy. But we got a glimpse of it and can confirm it’s every bit as primitive as its jungle counterpart.
The Bush Telegraph is now simply the Telegraph.
And we will no longer see Kiosk Keith (or, latterly, Kiosk Kev) in his Outback Shack as part of the Dingo Dollar challenge.
Now, celebrities will be visiting Ye Olde Shoppe, run by Kiosk Cledwyn, to spend their Castle Coins.
It has, Tom says, been a “massive undertaking” to virtually rebuild the series from the ground up like this. But he’s sounding confident.
“There will be a lot of challenges and the cold will definitely be one of them. But I think that it’s a magical place that they’re going into.
“It will be very different to the jungle, but I still think it will be a very special place.”
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