Attractions industry news

07 Oct 2019

ITV plans immersive 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!' attraction in Salford, UK

The TV show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! is to be used as the inspiration for a new theme park to be created in Salford, near Manchester, UK, where the ITV studios are based.

Famed for its 'Bush tucker trials', which usually involve interactions with things like bugs, spiders and all kinds of creepy-crawly, the show is fronted by presenters Ant and Dec and is filmed in the Australian rainforest.

The proposed theme park ‒ to be called I'm a Celebrity...Jungle Challenge ‒ would offer a 90-minute indoor "multi-sensory adrenaline adventure", according to the broadcaster, with challenges such as zipwires, parachute drops, climbing walls and mazes. Visitors will collect stars as they take on the challenges, in an attempt to be crowned king or queen of the jungle.

Numerous features from the TV show, such as Base Camp, Croc Creek and Snake Rock will be included in the setup. According to reports, ITV is still finalising its plans in respect of the use of real animals at the attraction and said that any animals that visitors come into contact with would probably be virtual. The show has been criticised before for its treatment of animals.

The theme park will take up 2,500sq m (8,200sq ft) of the new £26m (US$32m, €29.1m) Watergardens development, next to the Lowry Outlet Mall at Salford Quays. Work will begin on transforming the space into a jungle experience early in 2020, with the attraction due to open later in the year.

It is not the first theme park in the UK linked to an ITV show, as the broadcaster pursues a "More Than TV" strategy – already in existence is a Ninja Warrior-themed aqua park near Windsor and Ninja Warrior family centres in Stoke and Wigan.

James Penfold, controller of partnerships for ITV, said: "I'm a Celebrity...Jungle Challenge brings together the heart and soul of the hugely celebrated series, and ITV's expertise in curating fantastic, memorable live brand experiences as a great example of our More Than TV strategy."

ITV's director of games, live and merchandising William van Rest said team members from the TV show were helping to put the Jungle Challenge together, adding: "It's tapping into the market for viewers wanting to have experiences with TV brands, and operators recognising the power of the brands and the emotional engagement audiences have with the brands."

The broadcaster will be working in partnership with LifeStyle Outlets, which says its goal is to create leisure and shopping destinations with entertainment at their heart.

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