I’M A Celeb star AJ Pritchard has tested positive for Covid days before the new series.
The dancer, 26, is isolating with girlfriend Abbie Quinnen near the North Wales castle where filming starts on Friday.
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A source said: “It could put the whole show in jeopardy.”
AJ, 26, and Abbie, 24, are anxiously awaiting clearance so he can rejoin the line-up for Friday’s first day of filming ahead of Sunday’s launch show.
A TV source said: “This is the last thing anyone wanted.
“It has been a shock to AJ as he’s been feeling fine and following the precautions.
“Everyone is on tenterhooks. Like the other contestants AJ had a routine Covid test, which came back positive.
“He will have another one before going in.
“The ITV production team have gone to incredible lengths all year to make sure everything is carried out safely and with as minimal risk to the cast and crew as possible.
“There is little room for error. If several stars are struck down, particularly one of the older ones, then it would throw the whole show into jeopardy and be very problematic.”
A wider outbreak would wreck tight production schedules for I’m A Celebrity, seen as the jewel in the crown of ITV’s entertainment line-up.
Last year’s run regularly boasted over ten million viewers.
Despite the pandemic bosses were determined to press ahead with this year’s 20th series, hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.
Filming has moved from the Australian bush to Gwrych Castle, North Wales.
The Sun has revealed most of the contestants, who include Olympic hero Mo Farah, 37, plus soap stars Shane Richie, 56, and Beverley Callard, 63.
Strictly dancer AJ, who is staying near the castle in North Wales, kept quiet about the positive test on social media last night as he promoted his podcast with brother and Love Island heart-throb Curtis, 24.
ITV said: “We can confirm that a member of the cast has received a positive Covid result and that individual is self isolating where we are giving them all the support that they need.
“I’m A Celebrity has robust health and safety measures and protocols in place in order to operate safely within Covid guidelines.”
A separate production source added: “It is as a result of our frequent testing policy that we were able to identify this case swiftly.”
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