I’M A Celebrity… bosses were on high alert last night — after security staff tackled an intruder metres from the show’s camp.
The trespasser managed to evade the programme’s elaborate six-tier security system, which includes bulletproof detection robots.
Panic was sparked after the raider, who was unarmed, gave security the slip and got into the grounds of Gwrych Castle.
Quick-thinking guards managed to locate the individual who was frogmarched to the perimeter and sent on their way.
The man did not come into contact with the celebrities or the hosts Ant and Dec, but was within touching distance of the castle walls.
If they had managed to get into the camp it could have forced the whole show off air as would have breached the programme’s COVID bubble.
The breach comes just as show favourite Richard Madeley had to quit because of an emergency hospital run which was said to have broken the bio-secure bubble the celebs had formed.
An ITV source said: “The intruder in question has tried to break in earlier in the run but did not manage it.
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“Everyone is on high alert as the safety of the cast, care and everyone involved is obviously the number one priority.
“It was a close call but the quick-thinking security staff realised there had been a breach due to various pieces of kit they have set up – including the Armadillo systems – and he was thrown off site immediately.
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“He was not far from getting into the actual castle itself, where the celebrities are. I’ve no idea what would have happened if that had been the case as it could have been a breach of the COVID bubble and could have put the whole show at risk. It’s a real headache for the security and crew.
“They hope it’s the last of this sort of incident and everyone can focus on the show.”
An ITV spokesman confirmed the break-in, and told The Sun: “A security breach was identified and an intruder was removed from the location with immediate effect. The safety of both our celebrities and our production crew remains our primary concern.”
We told earlier this week about how ITV bosses had left no expense spared on security after a number of close calls.
They have installed bulletproof detection robots around the filming site in a bid to deter intruders.
The cutting-edge security systems — which look like Doctor Who’s Tardis on legs — are bristling with sensors, cameras, ear-splitting sirens and blinding lights.
The 4ft-tall robots, often used by UK police forces, are positioned around the perimeter of the site in a bid to spook anyone trying to gain illegal access.
The imposing techno-guards can easily detect intruders — and operators can remotely trigger blinding lights.
They are among six levels of security around the Grade I-listed Gwrych Castle, in Abergele, Conwy.
Bosses have several layers of high fencing, multiple patrolling guards and checkpoints where ID must be shown to get anywhere close to where this year’s celebrities are staying.
Every night, security staff shine bright torch beams into nearby trees in case intruders are waiting for nightfall.
They also have a new piece of kit that can deactivate drones flying near the castle.
A van parked near the castle detects the flying bits of kit, and if they get too close to the Grade I listed building they can take control of it and safely land it.
The source added: “They’ve stepped up their tech this year. But still it’s proving hard to keep a few idiots out.”
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