'I'm A Celebrity' on course for return to Australia this year

The series will no longer feature live critters in the eating trials. (ITV)
'I'm A Celebrity' looks set to return to Australia. (ITV)

I'm A Celebrity bosses have given the strongest indication yet that the show will finally make a return to Australia after two years broadcasting from Wales.

The flagship ITV celebrity contest has been on air for 21 series, managing to weather two consecutive years of COVID restrictions that made it impossible to film the show in its usual Australian setting.

Read more: All the winners of I'm A Celebrity so far

Hosts Ant and Dec had recently said that they were hoping for another trip Down Under when the 2022 series begins this November and it looks as though that's what channel bosses are planning for.

According to The Mirror, ITV director of content Rosemary Newell said: "We expect I'm A Celebrity to return in Australia in November, when it will generate audience over 11 million."

Ant and Dec are not expecting to be back at the castle this year. (ITV)
Ant and Dec are not expecting to be back at the castle this year. (ITV)

Speaking on The One Show last month, Dec said of the next series location: "Well, the plan is the jungle."

Ant added: "Nothing against Wales. We love Wales, but Australia is [the show's] home and we'd like to get back there if we can."

In December last year, they spoke about wanting to go back to Australia with Ant explaining: "I think we would like to return to Australia. We had a great time for two years in Wales – we were made to feel really welcome and at home – but its proper home is Australia, so we'd like to get back there for next year if we can."

Read more: Everything you need to know about Gwrych Castle

Dec added: "We can torment [contestants] more in Australia. It's harder conditions outside and there are all sorts of creepy crawlies in the camp, so it's harder in Australia, definitely."

Danny Miller could be the last 'I'm A Celeb' winner from the castle. (ITV)
Danny Miller could be the last 'I'm A Celeb' winner from the castle. (ITV)

I'm A Celebrity, which airs in November and December, has been based in Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales for the last two years due to Australia closing its borders during the pandemic.

Celebrity campmates had to contend with much harsher weather conditions, including Storm Arwen which battered the camp with 90+mph winds last year and forced the show off air for the first time in its history.

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The contestants were made to leave camp for a number of days and stay in isolation until it was safe to return to the castle's main camp area.

Winners of the two Welsh-set series of the show were Giovanna Fletcher and Danny Miller, with Jacqueline Jossa having won the last series to be filmed in Australia.

Watch: Ant and Dec hope I'm A Celebrity returns to Australia in 2022