‘Ant and Dec, GO HOME!’ I’m A Celeb continues to rile Welsh locals as furious sign is erected on A-road after blockages, closed paths and disruptions around Gwrych Castle sparked rage with residents
Locals voiced their fury that the work on Gwrych Castle, where the show is set, is impacting their day to day life, after it was revealed that nearby footpaths and a local golf course were closed near the historic landmark.
On Wednesday, images showed vast scaffolding being erected for a ‘Walk The Plank’ challenge, which has been at the heart of some of the issues while further images show the extent of closures around the building.
A local resident told MailOnline: ‘These people are absolutely ridiculous, they are erecting a structure and then think they can stop us locals from walking our dogs where we have been walking for over 40 years.’
Oof: I’m A Celebrity bosses have angered locals further in Abergele, Wales after residents erected signs instructing hosts Ant and Dec ‘go home’
Her neighbour went on: ‘They have absolutely ruined the area dredging up all that mud, when we asked them if they will put it back afterwards they said as it’s winter it won’t matter but they’ve dug 6 foot holes how dare they’.
Another Abergele resident said; ‘Nothing from this comes back to the town or the people here, they have security everywhere and stopping people going places they normally go, they haven’t even employed any locals here, it is all so unfair.’
MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment. Show chiefs are said to be eager to keep out prying eyes when the celebrities move in later this month and have surrounded the castle with steel fences.
According to The Sun, the fences are eight feet tall and run around the entire castle, interfering with trails frequently used by locals.
Hard at work: The castle was surrounded by fencing while roads showed blockages
Blocked off: The road signs showed that the area surrounding the castle was no access
Spooky! On Wednesday, images showed vast scaffolding being erected for a ‘Walk The Plank’ challenge, which has been at the heart of some of the issues
Oh dear! The signs hung above the A55
No access! The blocked roads and public access removal were clear to see in new shots
Earlier this year, residents in the area took issue with the council over whether they had a right to walk around the estate. Councillor Delyth MacRae said: ‘Prior to the castle being built, there was an undesignated path from Llanddulas to Abergele and we are talking a long time ago.
‘That was for access to the mines and it was quicker to go down there and go to the market/go shopping.
‘Members of the public are feeling, rightly or wrongly, they are feeling very aggrieved their enjoyment of the land has been taken away due to recent changes of ownership as well as liability and security issues.’
Off you go… Ant and Dec were given stark instructions on the signs
Blocked off: The building for staff was huge and extending beside the venue
Slow down: The area featured fencing and 20 mile an hour speed signs in the surrounding areas
Slow down: Road speeds were reduced to permit the work around the building
A Gwrych Castle spokesperson previously told the Rhyl Journal: ‘We opened the gardens to the public in 2014 and then the castle itself in 2018.
‘Prior to this the entire estate was closed to the public so we enabled access around the restored sections of the castle. We want to have regulated public access given that the castle and grounds are under restoration.
‘The entire estate includes Manorafan Farm, Abergele Golf Club and the surrounding farmland, including the woodland which is leased to NRW and have been since 1951. We will continue to engage with interested parties.’
The Abergele Golf Club is said to be keen to use the scenic backdrop of Gwrych Castle to promote itself to tourists but now pay as you go golfers have been given the boot for a month, with only members permitted to use the club.
Separation: Other signs laid out tow away zones
Not happy: I’m A Celebrity bosses have angered locals in Abergele, Wales after closing off footpaths and a local golf course near Gwrych Castle
Privacy: Show chiefs are said to be eager to keep out prying eyes when the celebrities move in later this month and have surrounded the castle with steel fences
According to The Sun, ITV will compensate the club for any lost revenue while the series airs.
A statement from the £730-a-year club said: ‘As we are neighbours to Gwyrch Castle, where I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! will be based for a second year, our course will be closed to non-members from Wednesday 10th November until Monday 13th December 2021.
‘Members will still be able to play as normal during this period, exactly like last year. The Clubhouse Bistro will still be open to serve their tasty menu during this period.
Closures: There were warnings about entering a ‘caution site’ alongside warnings over lorries
Blocked: According to The Sun, the metal fences are eight feet tall and run around the entire castle, interfering with trails frequently used by locals
‘We are very excited to be a part of the production again this year and look forward to watching it later on this month. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and look forward to welcoming our guests again from Monday 13th December!’
Despite some complaints, others were more pleased with the return with Cllr. Alan Hunter, Mayor of Abergele launching a shop front competition to welcome the stars.
He said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled that I’m A Celebrity has come back to our town’s iconic Gwrych Castle…
‘Leading up to the announcement that ITV were coming back, I’d lost count of the amount of times residents and local businesses had asked if I thought IAC would come back. The return has certainly lifted the spirits of the town and there is noticeable excitement across the generations.
‘I have relaunched the shop window display competition. Already the very imaginative window displays and cardboard cutouts of Ant and Dec are being displayed.
Rules: Earlier this year, residents in the area took issue with the council over whether they had a right to walk around the estate (presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly pictured)
Hard at is: The area for crew was close-by with huge temporary structures in place
‘I am really grateful that there is a policy of using local trades to supply and service the show, which will aid the economic recovery for so many.
‘The return is a real boost for the economy of the town, the coast, and North Wales in general. It is also a massive boost to the restoration of the castle.
‘Last year the show went on during an almost full lockdown and l hope that this year we will not be restricted, so long as people are sensible and keep safe, we will welcome visitors. It will be fantastic to welcome the production team and crew into town this year.’
He adds: ‘We have the beautiful Pensarn promenade with free parking for over 200 cars where the best and safest views of Gwrych Castle can be enjoyed in all its glory nestled in the hillside.’
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! starts on Sunday November 21 on ITV at 9pm.
Unimpressed: Councillor Delyth MacRae said: Members of the public are feeling very aggrieved their enjoyment of the land has been taken away’
I’m A Celebrity 2021 Line-up
CLAIM TO FAME: Broadcaster & ex BBC Breakfast Host
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: It’s nice to be able to show the fun side of me rather than the serious news presenter.
PHOBIAS: The idea of small, enclosed spaces with cockroaches and spiders is horrific!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I will give out hugs and make the food more edible!
MISS MOST: My comfortable bed and lovely bath.
DREAM CAMPER: Angelina Jolie and Daniel Craig – we wouldn’t have a problem getting stars if he were in the Castle.
CLAIM TO FAME: Olympic Gold Medallist
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People always see me as very composed and serious on the diving board. This will be a nice opportunity to let people get to know me better.
PHOBIAS: I don’t like rats.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I don’t mind helping out with cleaning.
MISS MOST: My bed!
DREAM CAMPER: Ed Sheeran and Will Smith
CLAIM TO FAME: Radio 1Xtra DJ
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People know me as a very bubbly person but when I am outside of my comfort zone, I can be shy.
PHOBIAS: Bugs, heights and I’m claustrophobic.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: I love twerking on a Friday night and I’m going to teach everyone how to do it in the Castle!
MISS MOST: My cat and lip gloss.
DREAM CAMPER: Jim Carrey and Big Narstie.
CLAIM TO FAME: TV presenter and journalist
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: Nothing. I don’t worry about what people think.
PHOBIAS: Heights. I’m not sure how I will feel if I have to walk across a plank very high up!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Cook and interviewer. I love finding out about people’s lives.
MISS MOST: Aside from Judy and my family, not knowing what is happening in the news. I am a news junkie.
DREAM CAMPER: The late Jimmy Greaves. I would have loved to chat about goal scoring in the Castle with him.
DAME ARLENE PHILLIPS, DBE
DAME ARLENE PHILLIPS, DBE
CLAIM TO FAME: Choreographer
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People don’t really know the real me at home and I’d like to show people the motherly side, the side my family sees.
PHOBIAS: I am hoping I will overcome my fears to take part in the Trials!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Mum and to organise some fun dance routines!
MISS MOST: My notepad and pencil –I am known for always having to write down ideas.
DREAM CAMPER: Giovanna Fletcher –she is such a lovely, warm person.
CLAIM TO FAME: Producer
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People don’t know the real me and I want everyone to get to know me.
PHOBIAS: Confined spaces and heights but I want to give the Trials a go to bring back some stars.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Castle chef and someone who everyone can confide in.
MISS MOST: My mum. I live with her and it’s going to be hard being away from her.
DREAM CAMPER: Sir Elton John would be amazing.
KADEENA COX, MBE
KADEENA COX, MBE
CLAIM TO FAME: Paralympic Gold Medallist
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: Great to be able to show people with all disabilities they can try different things in life.
PHOBIAS: Snakes, rats, spiders, heights – everything!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Chef – so long as there isn’t too much pressure to make the food interesting!
MISS MOST: TikTok, my mum and dog.
DREAM CAMPER: Thierry Henry –I love watching Arsenal play.
CLAIM TO FAME: Football legend
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: None because I never hide behind a false image. What you see is what you get.
PHOBIAS: I am going to tell you when I am in the Castle!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: Chef. I enjoy cooking at home and I will be hoping to add some garlic and rosemary to the food.
MISS MOST: My partner and my little girl. It’s going to be tough.
CLAIM TO FAME: The Saturdays star
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: People think if you are in a pop group, you lead a glamorous lifestyle and won’t get stuck in, but I’m determined to muck in with all the chores.
PHOBIAS: Spiders, rats and confined spaces scare me.
ROLE IN THE CAMP: The serial hugger.
MISS MOST: Wayne and my boys.
DREAM CAMPER: Larry Lamb or a father figure type.
CLAIM TO FAME: Emmerdale actor
BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION TO DISPEL IN THE CASTLE: None but I would like to show everyone what I am like in real life rather than my soap character, Aaron Dingle.
PHOBIAS: I am absolutely dreading the eating Trials! I fear I will gag!
ROLE IN THE CAMP: A shoulder to cry on and a person everyone can come to if they have a problem.
MISS MOST: My fiancée, Steph, and our new baby.
DREAM CAMPER: Fred Sirieix or any ex football player. I won’t be able to leave them alone asking lots of questions!