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I'm A Celeb 'to stop flying contestants' family and friends to show'

Mirror logo Mirror 21/06/2020 Seamus Duff
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Contestants on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! will no longer be met by friends or family when they exit the jungle after ITV axed flights for loved ones.

I’m A Celeb sees participants spend approximately three weeks in the Australian jungle while competing to be crowned king or queen of the show.

Gallery: Inside Jacqueline Jossa's family home with Dan Osborne and daughters Ella and Mia (Hello)

And while many past contestants have struggled to cope with being away from their husbands, wives, lovers, children or other relatives and friends, they have always had the comfort of knowing their nearest and dearest would be waiting to greet them whenever they get booted from the show.

But not any more – as The Sun claims I’m A Celeb show makers have cancelled plans to pay for friends and family to fly to Australia as part of the series.

Daniel Osborne, Jacqueline Jossa are posing for a picture: Jacqueline Jossa was greeted by husband Dan Osborne when she won I'm A Celeb in 2019 © James Gourley/ITV/REX Jacqueline Jossa was greeted by husband Dan Osborne when she won I'm A Celeb in 2019

In the past, I’m A Celeb has splashed roughly £100,000 on business class seats for contestants to have friendly faces to meet them at the end of the show.

The trip would also include a seven-night stays at Palazzo Versace hotel on Australia’s Golden Coast.

But now the series is closing its purse in an effort to cut costs after advertising income for ITV dropped as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Future contestants won't have their friends and family flown to Australia by ITV to meet them © Media-Mode / SplashNews.com Future contestants won't have their friends and family flown to Australia by ITV to meet them

A show source told The Sun: “Having no friends or family flown out will be a big blow to celebrities.

“Producers have even involved them in recent years by taking them into the jungle in the final days to create heartfelt scenes.

“There are early plans to film video calls to capture celebs having their first chats with loved ones.

Caitlyn Jenner talking on a cell phone: Caitlyn Jenner was not met by any of her family on I'm A Celeb in 2019 © ITV Caitlyn Jenner was not met by any of her family on I'm A Celeb in 2019

The source then conceded contestants would have to “make do” with being greeted by show hosts Ant and Dec instead – who they would have already seen multiple times over the three week period the show traditionally runs over.

It is believed a 2020 series is going ahead after months of speculation that air travel limitations in relation to the coronavirus pandemic could scupper plans.

One name linked to the upcoming 20th series is Tiger King star Carole Baskin who is rumoured to be demanding £350,000 to appear on the show.

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