WHEN Shane Richie jumps on to our screens as part of I'm A Celebrity tonight, he will enter a castle he is already somewhat familar with.

The actor, who played Alfie Moon in EastEnders, carried out some filming in North Wales last year and everyday, for one week, he drove past the castle.

He recalls calling it 'beautiful' and thinking it was haunted.

Shane said: "There was a few places I kept hearing about. One was Scotland and then I heard it might go to a little island off the Spanish coast, one of the canaries or the Balearic Islands, so I thought 'ok good - I'm liking this' and now we are coming to Wales which is great because only last year, where the castle is, I was filming.

"I did a caravanning thing on Channel 5. On the first episode, all the family were with me and everyday we would go past down on the main drag there, down on the coast, and we would see the castle.

"We would say 'aint that beautiful’ and ‘god, I bet that's haunted’ not thinking for one moment that some months later they were going to announce they were going to do I'm A Celebrity at the castle I was passing every day for a week.

"I don't care what they say, I believe it is haunted."

Shane said it was an honour to be asked, prior to lockdown, to appear on the 20th series and he is looking forward to being around adults again - instead of his wife and three children!

He told the Journal he was excited about having 'human contact'.

He added: "I know all the celebs have been in their own little bubbles, including myself, and I just want a hug. I am a hugger, I love human contact.

"ITV have looked after us unbelievably. They knock on the door and leave a bag of food and there is someone there with a mask. It would be nice to talk to somebody where I am not just looking in their eyes.

"And to say 'of course we can hug' and sit next to each other and we can talk. I'm looking forward to doing that."

When the show was confirmed to be taking place in Wales, Shane took himself outside to camp.

"We went camping in the summer. We went down to Cornwall," he said.

"Of course I knew I was doing it [the show] and let the family in on it.

"I said 'listen, guys, I'm going to attempt to sleep outside'.

“We had a motor home, but we're in Cornwall and it's beautiful.

“Two o'clock in the morning, I'm knocking saying 'can someone let me in because I can't bear it'.

"I lasted two hours because it was too cold, too windy and I'm thinking 'someone's going to reverse over me tent in a minute'. And I had a panic attack."

Ahead of going in the castle, Shane is feeling 'many mixed emotions.'

He added: "It is funny because we have been in isolation for over two weeks and this kind of feels like this is one of the challenges. This is like one of the trials where you have got to stay in a house and be forced to watch Netflix."

Asked what his biggest fear was, Shane replied: "I just hope we all get on. I have watched the show over the years and Tony Hadley is one of my closest mates and I saw the night where he... I think it was Lady C? And I remember when he come out and we meet up for a drink and he was telling me it was horrendous.

"I mean I am only speculating with the names that came up, you know when I saw like Eric Cantona I thought 'oh my god! Eric Cantona!' and then I don't know how true it is, if Mo Farah is going in and I thought - 'I'm gong to be sleeping with a sir!'

"So the whole sleeping arrangments is going to be very strange. I mean the trials and all the challenges, I mean it is one thing doing them in Australia but...

"But one good thing though. If I get voted out, I could be home in time for the school run!"