I’m A Celebrity bosses are reportedly ‘delighted’ after signing up EastEnders star Jessica Plummer to the 2020 series.
The actress, 28, is said to be hoping that the hit ITV reality show will be a ‘real stepping stone’ for her career after former soap star, Jacqueline Jossa, won the 2019 series.
Jessica’s character Chantelle Atkins was tragically murdered by her abusive husband, Gray, on EastEnders last month, leaving her work schedule free.
Exciting! I’m A Celebrity bosses are reportedly ‘delighted’ after signing up EastEnders star Jessica Plummer to the 2020 series
The actress, who used to be in band Neon Jungle, joins the likes of Vernon Kay, former Strictly dancer AJ Pritchard and Coronation Street star Beverley Callard on the 2020 rumoured line-up.
I’m A Celebrity is set to return next month in the new location of Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales, after it was forced to move from Australia to the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A source told The Sun: ‘Bosses are delighted to be able to convince her to take part.
‘It’s a great move for both parties as she’s just left the soap and this is a great opportunity for her personality to be shown to millions.’
‘Stepping stone’: The actress, 28, is said to be hoping that the hit ITV reality show will be a ‘real stepping stone’ for her career after former soap star, Jacqueline Jossa, won the 2019 series
Endorsement: Jacqueline has seen her career soar since winning I’m A Celebrity in 2019, landing several lucrative deals including clothing ranges with online retailer InTheStyle and a tanning line with BPerfect Cosmetics
They added: ‘She hopes it will be a real stepping stone for her career.’
MailOnline has contacted both Jessica and ITV’s representatives for comment.
Jessica bid farewell to EastEnders last month when her character was killed by husband Gray following months of abuse.
The soap star shared an emotional message with her Instagram followers as she cleared out her dressing room for the last time.
Departure: Jessica’s character Chantelle Atkins was tragically murdered by her abusive husband, Gray, on EastEnders last month, leaving her work schedule free (pictured in show still)
Alongside a picture on set, she penned: ‘Now that the dust has slightly settled, I’d just like to say.. On a personal note, I am in absolute bits to be leaving the show.
‘I miss even this bits I thought I hated (that dodgy outside toilet near the police station with 20 million spiders) All of it has been a dream come true. Without getting speechy, I owe SO many people my thanks for believing in me on my journey.
‘Julia Crampsie, my agent Jonathan, Liza Mellody, Carolyn Weinstein, Jon Sen, Kate Oates .. and SO many more, including our viewers. [sic]’
She continued: ‘I came from a girl band, wanting nothing more than to prove myself as the actor I trained to be.
Leaving: Jessica bid farewell to the soap EastEnders last month where she shared an emotional message with her Instagram followers
‘I was trusted with such an important story, on one of the most iconic soaps in history❤️❤️❤️ Thank you!! It has been an unbelievable 20 months.
‘Finally I can watch EastEnders again as a viewer, without cringing whenever I hear my voice. [sic]’
The storyline of her character, Chantelle, culminated in her decision to leave her controlling spouse, Gray [Toby Alexander-Smith] following years of mental and physical abuse.
She was ultimately killed off at the hands of her husband, which EastEnders’ Executive Producer said was an important yet tragic topic that needed to be explored on the show.
Jessica has since joined the cast of the TV series Auditions alongside fellow soap star Gary Beadle, as was revealed by Inside Trak on Instagram earlier this month.
It comes after it was reported that the new series of I’m A Celebrity is now under threat after the Welsh government plot a three-week ‘circuit breaker’ to stop hospitals becoming overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.
Despite the ITV show being in jeopardy, production bosses have reportedly spent thousands on camping gear to prepare contestants for the freezing temperatures.
I’m A Celebrity was forced to relocate from Australia to the UK this year due to challenges of filming abroad and travel restrictions amid the pandemic.
However, the show’s debut at Gwrych Castle in Wales may never come to fruition as Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, proposed a ‘fire-break’ to prevent a growth in Covid cases as the country reaches a ‘critical point’.
Not long! I’m A Celebrity is set to return next month in the new location of Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales, after it was forced to move from Australia to the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic (hosts Ant and Dec pictured)
He said: ‘A ”fire-break” would also mean a short, sharp shock to all our lives – it would mean shutting down businesses and the economy.
‘We would all have to stay at home to once again to save lives. But this time it would be for weeks not months.’
There are now apparent concerns that the tightened rules could make it impossible for contestants and production to enter Wales in time for November, as the government bans visitors to the country from Covid hotspots.
Even if this year’s celebrities can make it to the castle ruins, the new ban on mixing households and support bubbles could present difficult challenges for filming together.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding this year’s I’m A Celeb series, ITV bosses are pushing forward and have splashed out on the finest thermal gear as they brace for sub-zero temperatures.
Reports: The actress, who used to be in band Neon Jungle, joins the likes of Vernon Kay, right, former Strictly dancer AJ Pritchard and Coronation Street star Beverley Callard, left, on the 2020 rumoured line-up
According to reports, they have splurged ‘thousands of pounds’ on a selection of insulating clothing, sleeping bags, camping equipment, and foil blankets to prevent heat loss.
An insider revealed to The Sun: ‘The bosses are taking no chances and have bought the best of everything.
‘It is one thing roughing it in the heat of Australia, but quite another kettle of fish in the Welsh countryside.’
The publication revealed that I’m A Celebrity bosses have also taken medical advice in a bid to prevent celebrity contestants from developing frostbite or hypothermia.
Long-range weather calculations for the start of filming predict days of blistering 35mph winds, 100 percent cloud coverage and freezing spells of rain.
MailOnline has reached out to ITV’s representatives for comment.
Disaster: It comes after it was reported that the new series of I’m A Celebrity is now under threat after the Welsh government plot a three-week ‘circuit breaker’ to stop hospitals becoming overwhelmed with coronavirus patients (hosts Ant and Dec pictured)