There was good news for fans of reality TV recently, with ITV confirming that I’m A Celebrity 2020 would be returning for a 20th series this Autumn despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and concerns about the possible effect of travel restrictions on the show.
The show will be going ahead this year, however, with a very different feel to it as it will be filmed in the UK this year instead of Australia.
With the new series just a couple of months away, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing all sorts of big names linked with making an appearance in the jungle.
Of course at this stage no names have been announced, but a number of reports and rumours are circulating and so we’ve taken a look at some of the celebs who may be heading down under.
If any of those celebs do take part it seems that they might face one more challenge than usual, with reports suggesting that contestants will be required to quarantine for at least two weeks before entering the jungle.
But who is being rumoured so far? And who do we at RadioTimes.com think is in with a shot? Here’s everything we know so far.
Tommy Fury Getty Images
Tyson Fury’s younger brother, Tommy, has been tipped to appear on I’m A Celebrity.
The reality star, who is famous for appearing on ITV’s Love Island in 2019, has been given odds of 2-5 by Betway to join the show.
Betway’s Chad Yeomans told Mirror online: “Love Island’s Tommy Fury is odds-on at 2/5 to be battling his way through bushtucker trials on this year’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!”
Apparently Vernon Kay has been approached a couple of times to take part, but according to The Mirror, 2020 is the year they’ve sealed the deal on him – and a hefty deal that is, at a rumoured £250,000. A source told the publication: “Everyone’s so pleased to have Vernon on board, he’s a lovely guy, full of down-to-earth northern charm and perfect for the show.”
She may have stormed to victory on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, but it seems The Vivienne has another crown in her sights: the jungle crown. She spoke to Lorraine Kelly in July and told her I’m A Celebrity is in her sights… “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’m all for that!” We think The Vivienne would be amazing on I’m A Celebrity… listen up ITV!
All eyes are on the former Arsenal midfielder at the moment who could be about to get a ticket in the I’m A Celebrity 2020 series. According to The Sun, Merson is “the jewel in ITV’s crown” and think he could be the key to getting plenty of viewers to the new instalment from the jungle.
A TV source told them: “Paul is really keen to relaunch his TV career and think this is the best way to do it after he’s seen what it has done for his mate Harry Redknapp.” They add it needs to be “worth his while” in terms of money, so if the price is right, we could see another England star in the camp fairly soon.
Carole Baskin in Tiger King on Netflix
Calling all cool cats and tigers, because Joe Exotic’s nemesis Carole Baskin is the latest celeb to be linked to I’m A Celebrity…
According to sources, Carole has been offered huge money to go Down Under at the end of the year after more than 64 million households across the world watched her on Netflix’s Tiger King.
We know one person who won’t be too pleased to see more of The Big Cat Rescue owner on screen, but we’re totally here for it!
Another person who would like to see Carole on the show is comedian Jason Manford.
During an appearance on Absolute Radio, the 39-year-old admitted he’d sign up for the show if it meant having Carole as his campmate.
“If Carole Baskin ends up in the jungle, I might sign up!” he said.
Sounds like the MMA fighter could be swapping the ring for this year’s castle.
Conor – who leaves fighting with a record of 22 wins and four losses – recently posted an emotional goodbye to the sport on his Twitter account.
And now Ladbroke is tipping him 8/1 to take part in the show later this year.
Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “McGregor would be a box office signing if ITV bosses can afford him and he swaps the octagon for the jungle.”
Eric Cantona (Getty Images)
The 53-year-old is best known for playing for Manchester United, but it sounds like he could be taking on the I’m A Celebrity… challenge this year instead.
The show’s bosses have reportedly signed up the football legend for this year’s series.
According to The Sun, the show’s big boss Richard Cowles said: “I just like the idea of Eric Cantona talking in French and coming up with really profound things. That would be really good.”
She’s been entertaining ITV viewers as Corrie’s Liz McDonald for decades now, so it’s no surprise that I’m A Celeb bosses are keen to have Beverley on the show. And the popular actress has more free time in her diary now, after recently leaving the soap.
Rumour has it, she has already been in ‘virtual talks’ to appear on this year’s I’m a Celeb, and some sources claim she has already signed on the dotted line.
A source told The Mirror: “Everyone was thrilled when Bev said yes, she is such a well-loved ITV face.”
RadioTimes.com has contacted ITV about the rumour, but a representative declined to comment.
Most celebs are pretty coy when asked if they would sign up for a stint on the show, but ex-England footballer John Barnes is happy to admit he is keen to take part.
“I’ve done a few shows – I’ve been on Family Fortunes and The Brightest Family,” he told RadioTimes.com. “I did Strictly Come Dancing 10 years ago, but Dancing on Ice with my age and the injuries I’ve had, I don’t think so. The Jungle would be good – I could lose some weight, sit around and do nothing!”
John also took part in ITV hit reality show Harry’s Heroes: The Full English, in which former King of the Jungle Harry Redknapp tried to get former footballers back into shape.
As well as boasting an impressive reality TV CV, John is well known for being outspoken, so would surely be a great signing for the show. He was rumoured for the 2019 series, could this be the year he finally makes it out to Australia?
Signing one of the BBC’s best-loved presenters would be a real coup for I’m A Celeb, but his name is strongly linked to this year’s series.
It would certainly be fun to see how the mild-mannered Countryfile presenter coped with the experience, and now that Matt has left The One Show he will be looking for new projects. He’s already done Strictly of course, coming second to Kara Tointon in 2010.
The most intriguing part of this rumour, is that Matt has admitted he wouldn’t rule out taking part in the show. Speaking to Hello! magazine he said, “I haven’t had any conversations yet but I am reluctant to say no to anything without having a good think about it.”
Music to the I’m A Celeb booker’s ears, you would think…
TV producers are always trying to attract younger viewers to their shows, and influencer Joe would bring a huge teen audience with him, just like he did during his time on Strictly. Once the series began he then proved popular with fans across the board, and that universal appeal would make him a dream signing for I’m a Celeb.
While Joe has been busy dancing and planning a tour with girlfriend and Strictly partner Dianne Buswell, he is still waiting for another big TV project to come his way. I’m A Celeb could be it.
But Joe has previously said he’s unlikely to sign up for the show because he’s worried about losing too much weight. “I don’t think I’d survive in the jungle, because they live on rice and beans. I’m so slim and I find it hard to put on weight, so I don’t think I’d last very long in the jungle. I think I’d waste away.”
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
ITV’s recent three-part drama Quiz got us all talking about the Who Wants to be a Millionaire coughing scandal once again. The popularity of the series, and the fact that the Ingrams are back in the spotlight, has sparked rumours that the Major will be offered a place in the I’m A Celeb camp.
The Ingrams have always maintained that they are innocent, and did not cheat in that fateful episode. They were also subject to intense media scrutiny and some nastiness from the public at the time. With the drama leaving us all unsure what really happened, a stint in the jungle could be a welcome chance for Charles to clear his name and change his public image.
The bookies certainly expect him to sign up: at the end of April Ladbrokes gave short odds of just 3/1 that he would take part in the show, calling him ‘the A1 choice for the next series.’
Former Strictly pro AJ pulled out of this year’s series at the eleventh hour, having already been announced for the 2020 show. He said he wanted to concentrate on other opportunities, including presenting jobs with his brother, Love Island star Curtis.
A visit to the I’m A Celebrity… castle would certainly help him reach a new audience and let people see the man behind the moves.
AJ admits that, if he were to sign up to the I’m A Celeb, he would be rubbish at the Bush Tucker trials. Speaking 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!”
AJ would join a long list of former Strictly dancers who have appeared on I’m A Celeb, including Ola Jordan, James Jordan, Brendan Cole and Vincent Simone.
Ronnie O’ Sullivan
I’m A Celeb always features one or two sporting legends in the line-up and Ronnie O’ Sullivan is appearing on a lot of rumour lists this year.
The snooker pro has enjoyed huge success but has also made headlines away from the table. He would make a great campmate, but says he’s not ready to sign up yet.
Speaking in 2018, Ronnie said he won’t go on the show while he still has the opportunity to take more snooker titles. “I was invited onto I’m A Celeb this year but I decided to put it on the back-burner. I’m sure in time I’ll give it a go. I would really like to do it but not when you think you can still win tournaments. It’s about snooker first.”
Nigel Farage (Getty Images)
The politician could be set to go into the castle this year.
The Brexit Party leader has turned down offers before in order to focus on Brexit, with one deal reportedly worth £1 million, but with it now complete, maybe 2020 could be the year.
Quizzed on ITV’s This Morning recently, he said: “Well, you never know!… I don’t know. The jungle have been after me a couple of times, they have.”
Were he to enter the jungle, Farage said he had no doubts that he would end up facing every bushtucker trial.
“I’d be doing every bloomin’ trial there is. Because the problem with having an opinion is, whilst some people love you, a lot don’t,” he laughed.
Now that it’s on home turf, it might not be so bad!
Lucy Fallon (Getty Images)
The I’m A Celebrity line-up tends to include some of our fave soap stars.
Last year, EastEnders actress Jacqueline Jossa won, and in previous years we’ve had Corrie’s Jennie McAlpine – who plays Fizz – and Hollyoaks’ Jorgie Porter.
So it’s likely we’ll be seeing some more on this year’s show – and it could be a good time for Lucy, given the fact that she recently left the cobbles.
“Lucy is bubbly, funny, down-to-earth and game for a challenge, so she is a great fit for I’m A Celebrity,” a source revealed last year.
However, she turned it down as she worked on preparing her exit from the ITV soap.
But, with it now over could Lucy have more time on her hands?
Jasmine Armfield (Getty Images)
Another soap star who could make an appearance in the castle, is EastEnders’ Jasmine Armfield.
Like Lucy, the 21-year-old recently left the BBC One soap, so it’d be a great time for her to sign up.
Plus, she could give 2019 winner Jacqueline Jossa a call for some tips!
Phillip Schofield (Getty Images)
He’s been rumoured to appear on the show before, but could 2020 be the year the This Morning host finally takes the plunge and enter the castle?
There’s no denying Phillip would make great TV on the series, after admitting that he wouldn’t be able to deal with the sound of a metal spoon on the metal bowls contestants have to eat out of on the show.
We guess we’ll just have to wait and see if he signs on the dotted line…
Susanna Reid (Getty Images)
The Good Morning host has hinted at appearing on the show, after her fellow presenter Kate Garraway made her way into The Jungle last year.
She was keen to try on Kate’s camp hate during an episode of the breakfast show, and Kate joked that it could be her next, to which she joked: “No, I would get too hangry!”
Piers Morgan (Getty Images)
If not Susanna, it’s likely Piers himself could be off to the castle location this year.
Despite previously saying he wouldn’t, the Good Morning Britain presenter has admitted he’d do the show for the right money.
Last year, The Sun Online told how he demanded a whopping £5million on the show.
“Like I said, £5 million and I’ll come and munch kangaroo testicles. Not a penny less,” he said.
He named his price after jungle hosts Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly said they would do anything to make it happen.
But will Ant and Dec be willing to dig that deep into the pockets, with the highest paid fee reportedly being £600k.
Richard Madeley (ITV)
Having reportedly turned down I’m a Celebrity before taking part in dystopian social-media reality show The Circle, Madeley has now seemingly had a change of heart before the show.
“The reason I’ve said no is not because I don’t think I’d be up to it or anything like that, it’s just it’s a month – it’s a good month out of your life,” he told RadioTimes.com.
“When I did the Circle I was only out of circulation for a total of 7 or 8 days. And that was trying enough to be honest because, like most people, I’m quite busy and I’ve got a lot going on.
“So if they ask me next year, I will think about it seriously, but I’d really have to have a look at my diary really and see how it would impact on what I do because I’m a freelancer. I’d have to think about it carefully and see if I could make room for it.”
The Grand Tour presenter appears keen to head Down Under and chow down on bull testicles and clean out the jungle camp dunny for £1000,000.
“We all say no now because we’ve all got jobs,” he said on The Jonathan Ross Show. “If you’re down the line and somebody said, ‘Here’s a hundred thousand pounds to go and eat some maggots,’ count me in!
“Yes, I’d go and do it… When we’re old and in the way, you can’t say. Never say never to that!”
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! will air later on ITV. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.