EXCLUSIVE: AJ Pritchard is confirmed for I’m A Celeb as he tests NEGATIVE for Covid after contracting the virus put his appearance in jeopardy
AJ Pritchard will be going into the I’m A Celeb camp on Sunday – after testing negative for coronavirus.
The former Strictly star, 26, tested positive for Covid just days before the new series, which put his position on the show in jeopardy – but after self isolating he has now been given the green light to take part.
The entire show were reportedly on ‘tenterhooks’ awaiting confirmation that AJ was free of the disease after the ITV team had undergone ‘incredible lengths’ to ensure the set is Covid secure.
‘Huge relief’: AJ Pritchard will be going into the I’m A Celeb camp on Sunday – after testing negative for coronavirus
An insider told MailOnline the professional dancer is now officially confirmed to take part in the show after receiving a negative test result on Wednesday.
A TV source added: ‘It is a huge relief, luckily AJ hasn’t suffered at all with the virus – and was able to recover quickly.
‘Thankfully his test result has come back negative so he has been given the all clear to go ahead with the show.
‘He is so excited to take part, a positive test result at this last stage would have been devastating.’
Healthy: The former Strictly star tested positive for the virus, which put his position on the show in jeopardy – but after self isolating he has now been given the green light to take part
Camp mates: The entire show were reportedly on ‘tenterhooks’ awaiting confirmation that AJ was free of the disease
In a new interview, AJ told MailOnline: ‘I did have a positive Covid test early on into my isolation.
‘I’m very, very happy to report I’ve had two negative tests recently and they’ve both come back very, very negative which means I’m 100 per cent going into the jungle/castle whatever we’re calling it now, into the castle, and I’m very excited about that. A big relief for everybody.
‘I just want to thank ITV for all their stringent measures and the whole point of us going into lockdown and isolating was just in case this happened so thank you very much to ITV for making everybody feel safe and secure in this situation.’
He added: ‘I didn’t have any symptoms and I think that’s the thing with this.
‘It’s a crazy world we live in and we all have something to deal with, but thankfully I didn’t have any symptoms. But the positive thing is that I’m completely negative now.’
Thankful: AJ isolated with girlfriend Abbie Quinnen near the North Wales castle where filming starts on Friday and the pair waited ‘anxiously’ before getting the negative result
AJ isolated with girlfriend Abbie Quinnen near the North Wales castle where filming starts on Friday.
It has been said that AJ and Abbie waited ‘anxiously’ before getting clearance, after his positive test result came just days before the launch of the show.
Despite the pandemic, ITV bosses were determined to press ahead with this year’s 20th series, hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.
The show has moved from the Australian bush to Gwrych Castle, North Wales as a result of ongoing travel restrictions.
MailOnline revealed that AJ would be taking part in the show this year, with the Strictly star going onto confirm his appearance on Instagram.
He said the chance to be part of the cast this year is a ‘childhood dream come true’ and he hopes to do as many trials as possible in the castle.
The lineup this year includes Olympic hero Mo Farah, 37, soap stars Shane Richie, 56, and Beverley Callard, 63, TV presenter Vernon Kay, 46, and Radio One DJ Jordan North, 30.
Although AJ left Strictly to collaborate on projects with his Love Island brother Curtis, he will be starring on I’m A Celeb on his own.