I’m A Celebrity 2020 secrets we didn’t find out until the series ended

I’m A Celebrity 2020 provided a much-needed source of escapism for viewers across the nation, as we watched celebrities take on terrifying trials during their stay at the historic Gwrych Castle in Wales.

While the series ended last Friday, with podcaster and author Giovanna Fletcher being named the first ever Queen of the Castle on the show, we’re still learning so much about the goings-on of the programme.

From secret heaters keeping the campmates warm at night to the identity of the ‘phantom dribbler’, here’s what we’ve learnt since the series came to an end.

Secret heaters in camp

When it was announced that I’m a Celeb was relocating from Australia to Wales for the 2020 series, it quickly became apparent that the celebrity contestants would have to get used to much colder temperatures than they usually have in camp.

However, it was recently revealed that this year’s campmates weren’t left to freeze, with heat lamps being turned on twice throughout the night to help warm them up.

While speaking on his and his brother Curtis Pritchard’s podcast AJ vs Curtis, AJ Pritchard said: ‘OK, so we had heat lamps above, and you probably couldn’t see this on camera, but the heat lamps would maybe turn on at about 2am and about maybe 5am to kind of make it feel warm in the sleeping areas.’

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer AJ recalled going to bed ‘wearing multiple layers’ on one occasion as he assumed he was ‘going to be absolutely freezing’.

However, during the early hours of the morning he had a ‘hot flush’ and so decided to remove all of his clothes.

Despite the news of heat lamps in camp coming as a shock to some, fellow contestant Vernon Kay rebuffed claims that they made the camp extremely warm.

During an appearance on This Morning, he said: ‘There was one heater in my living quarters but they were very rarely used I’ll be honest with you,’ adding that it was ‘cold at night’.

Sneaky singing to stop scenes being aired

While it may have seemed difficult to prevent private conversations shared between campmates from being aired on TV, runner-up Jordan North recently disclosed that they worked out a nifty trick to do just that.

Upon his return to BBC Radio 1, he told Greg James that the contestants were informed that they weren’t allowed to sing Queen, The Beatles or Disney during their stay because the show ‘couldn’t get the rights’ to the music.

‘So, if we were having a conversation that we didn’t want to go on air, we’d have a conversation, and we’d get someone in the background to sing, “I want to break free”,’ he said.

‘I’d be there with Shane Richie going “Is he really like that!? Oh, I’ve always loved him on telly” and he’s going “God, he’s nothing like what you see of him”.

‘Then you’ve got Vernon [Kay] in the background going “Hey Jude! Don’t let me dowwwwwn” and then we’d know it wouldn’t go on air.’

A handy little loophole!

Jordan was a last-minute addition to line-up

Of all the stars on this year’s I’m A Celeb, Jordan undoubtedly had one of the biggest transformations, overcoming fears and discovering how resilient he is as a human being.

However, he almost didn’t appear on the show at all.

Musician Naughty Boy was reportedly due to take part in the series, but dropped out shortly before it was due to start, The Sun reported.

And so, Jordan was signed up to participate with just two days to prepare for the experience of a lifetime.

‘I was last minute. I got a call to say: “Maybe next year not this year”,’ he told Greg on Radio 1.

‘Then I got a call two weeks later saying: “Do you wanna do it? Someone’s dropped out.” I had two days to do everything: medical, photos, psychiatrists et cetera. Forty-eight hours. It very nearly never happened.’

Shane Richie’s unaired illness

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that after taking part in the grim drinking challenge with EastEnders star Jessica Plummer, Shane Richie suffered a bit of a dodgy stomach.

However, it turns out that he was in a far worse state than viewers realised.

While speaking to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning following his departure from the show, he explained that he didn’t want his family to see him being unwell.

After revealing that he lost just under a stone during his time in camp, Shane said: ‘I lost weight because after I did the drinking challenge, 12 hours later, I was really ill.

‘Thankfully they didn’t show it on telly because I didn’t want my family getting upset.’

Shane added that he thought he might need to see a doctor because he felt so ill.

‘I thought I was going to have to see a doctor. I had a few tablets and I had a dodgy stomach. So that’s kind of where I lost my weight,’ he stated.

Jordan almost quit show over Viper Vault trial

As Jordan prepared to take part in the Viper Vault trial with Shane early on in the series, it was evident that the radio DJ was absolutely petrified by the task ahead of him.

While he appeared close to saying he couldn’t do the trial, in the end he and Shane completed the challenge, staying locked up in underground containers with snakes and winning nine stars for camp.

Jordan later revealed that he almost quit altogether in scenes that weren’t shown on TV.

‘I’ve not talked about this to anyone, I just had a complete meltdown. And I know what people mean now by sheer panic,’ he said. ‘I delayed it by loads. None of this got shown on TV.

‘I just said, “I cannot do this. And I’m not going to do this. And in fact, I am gonna go. I don’t need to do this.” I nearly said, “I’m just not going to do the trial.” I nearly walked.’

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Jordan said that he ‘delayed’ the trial by a significant amount of time.

He recalled I’m A Celeb co-host Declan Donnelly helping to keep him calm while he was finding it difficult to breathe.

Eventually, he gave it a go, and did far better than he ever expected.

The identity of the Phantom Dribbler

One of the greatest mysteries throughout this year’s series of I’m A Celeb was the identity of the so-called ‘phantom dribbler’ – a member of camp who had been making a mess in the bathroom after going to the toilet.

Despite fingers being pointed in his direction, Shane insisted it wasn’t him.

And now, Shane has claimed that he helped cover up the secret of the ‘phantom dribbler’ – stating that it was Vernon all along.

While appearing on the Daily Drop, Shane said: ‘Let’s just clear a few things up shall we. When all that started, the phantom dribber. I was ill. I couldn’t stand.

‘I remember Vernon, cos he’s eight foot two, and he’s a tall lad and it’s a long distance from him for the toilet.

‘He went to the toilet and he came back and we said, “Vernon have you dribbled?”, and he was like “Oh don’t do ‘cos Tess is watching. Oh please don’t say nothing.”

‘And we had to cover it up ‘cos he was worried about what Tess would say. It was Vernon.’

So, mystery solved?

The 2020 series of I’m A Celebrity is available to watch on ITV Player.

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