I’m A Celebrity’s reigning queen Jacqueline Jossa will not crown the latest winner on Friday’s final.
The EastEnders actress, 28, won the show last year in Australia and it was previously reported that she had agreed to go to Wales to hand over her title in person.
However it has now been claimed that ITV bosses decided having Jacqueline on set was an ‘unnecessary risk’, as she hasn’t been isolating, and it would be a ‘more COVID secure option not to invite’ her.
Current champ: Jacqueline Jossa will not crown the new winner of I’m A Celebrity when the series concludes in Wales on Friday night after ‘bosses decided it was an unnecessary risk’
A source told MailOnline: ‘It is a more COVID secure option not to invite Jacqueline on set to hand over the crown.
‘We don’t want to bring an outsider into the bubble. We’ve protected the celebs for weeks and that doesn’t end on the final.
‘She has been rehearsing for a West End role so hasn’t been able to isolate so it was deemed an unnecessary risk.’
Despite not being on her way to the grand finale, Jacqueline has spoken about the show and thrown her support behind Giovanna Fletcher for the win.
Coming to an end: Friday’s show will see either Jordan North, Giovanna Fletcher or Vernon Kay crowned this year’s winner (pictured with Shane Richie who was booted out on Thursday)
Taking to Instagram on Friday, Jacqueline said: ‘My votes are for Giovanna I think we need another queen! She seems like one of the loveliest people.
‘I’m so excited because tomorrow she’ll get to see her kids, it’s the best feeling ever seeing your kids.
‘If you guys want to vote for her please please do, because I can tell it would mean a lot to her.’
Giovanna will be in the final alongside Jordan North and Vernon Kay, with all three hoping to be crowned king or queen of the castle.
Showing her support: Despite not being on her way to the grand finale, Jacqueline has spoken about the show and thrown her support behind Giovanna Fletcher for the win
Queen of the jungle: Jacqueline was crowned winner in 2019 (pictured with Ant and Dec after coming out of camp)
Ahead of the final episode, their last meal requests were unveiled on Lorraine earlier in the day.
After weeks of near-starvation on a diet of rice, beans and an eclectic array of animals, it seems hunger has struck the group as they have opted for a bizarre mix of favourite foods – including Angel Delight, cottage cheese and Guinness.
Vernon’s list included cottage cheese and Peri Peri chicken, while Giovanna’s requests were Bruschetta, fish and chips, apple crumble.
Possibly the most interesting of selections was Jordan, who opted for a Prawn cocktail, Angel Delight and a pint of Guinness.
On Thursday evening, Shane Richie was booted from Gwrych Castle – leaving Vernon, Giovanna and Jordan as this year’s three finalists.
Hmm… Vernon’s list included cottage cheese and Peri Peri chicken, while Giovanna’s requests were Bruschetta, fish and chips, apple crumble
The trio are now in the running to be the first ever King or Queen of the castle, after the series moved to Wales amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Shane was voted off by the public on Thursday night, 24 hours before the grand finale on Friday. But the ex-EastEnders actor felt happy with how far he’d come, pleased to make it to the iconic Celebrity Cyclone.
He was seen taking part in it with the other three in the episode, ahead of his eviction. Shane said: ‘It’s mixed emotions. You know, getting so far… We were all really glad to do the Celebrity Cyclone last night, being in the fantastic four.
‘We felt we’d achieved… I think whenever anyone comes on this show, they feel the final is the Cyclone, and anything after that is a bonus.’
And sharing his tips for any celebrities that might want to take on the challenge of the series next year, Shane said the most important thing is making sure you ’embrace’ camp life.
He said: ‘Anyone who comes on this show next year, you’ve got to embrace it. You can’t be… it’s no good trying to be on your own somewhere. You’ve got to be an open book.
‘You can’t fake it here, maybe for a couple of days, but after that you can’t.’ He also named author and podcast host Giovanna as the campmate he’d most like to see win the series.
He’s out! Shane Richie has been booted from Gwrych Castle, narrowly missing out on a place in the I’m A Celeb 2020 final