I’m A Celebrity bosses forced to axe friends and family segment due to Covid fears

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I’M A Celebrity bosses have axed their emotional family reunion scenes for a second consecutive year amid Covid fears.

Producers wanted a relative or pal of each remaining campmate to enter the castle in the final 48 hours.

Queen of the jungle Jac Jossa was greeted by her husband when she won the show – but this year’s winner won’t get that opportunity due to Covid fears
King of the jungle Carl Fogarty celebrates with Jake Quickenden and Melanie Sykes after his win in 2014

But they felt getting them to quarantine just in case their loved ones made it to the end was a step too far.

It comes after Richard Madeley was deemed to have broken the Covid bubble when he went to hospital last week.

The family slot became a fan favourite after 2018’s tear-jerking scenes when football manager Harry Redknapp’s wife Sandra entered the Australian jungle as a surprise.

A source said: “Filming a TV show of this size in a pandemic is a nightmare, so ITV have had to trim the fat where possible.

“Sadly, despite it being really popular, they’ve decided that the friends and family segment just had to go.

“What with vaccines and the world learning to live with Covid, producers had hoped they’d be able to do it.

“It’s given some great content over the years, but it was just too hard to guarantee that one of them would not bring Covid, or any other illness, into the camp and jeopardise the final few days.

“One option was to get friends and family to quarantine, too -— just as the celebrities did before they went in.

But that would prove to be a logistical headache and so many would end up doing it for nothing if their celebrity family member went home early.”

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HOAR understands that celebs will not be greeted by a loved one when they leave Gwrych Castle either — just like the programme’s first stint last year in North Wales.

They are contractually obliged to do an interview with hosts Ant and Dec after their exit, before being driven back to London the next day for further commitments.

Stars like Matty Lee (pictured) will not see relative or pal of each remaining campmate to enter the castle in the final 48 hours

HOAR understands that celebs will not be greeted by a loved one when they leave Gwrych Castle either — just like the programme’s first stint last year in North Wales