Shrewsbury to play star role as comedians and Strictly star revealed as Celebrity Hunted fugitives
Comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble as well as Strictly dancer Katya Jones will be among the fugitives breaking out of Shrewsbury Prison in the new series of Celebrity Hunted.
The county town will feature heavily in episode one of the hit Channel 4 series, which will begin with the celebs going on the run from the prison as they try and evade capture from the hunters, led by Chief Lisa Theaker.
It comes after social media reports last July of Acaster and Gamble running along Ditherington Road being followed by cameras, as two black helicopters circled above Monkmoor, Ditherington and the town centre.
Channel 4 has now announced the full list of celebrity fugitives taking part in the new series. As well as the comedy pair who go on the run together, Strictly Come Dancing's Katya will be joined by best pal, TV presenter and former Olympic snowboarder Aimee Fuller.
Other duos taking part are This Morning's resident therapists Nik and Eva Speakman; YouTube star Saffron Barker and TV mathematician Bobby Seagull; and former Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp with her boyfriend and Starstruck actor Nikesh Patel. The broadcaster shared a promotional photo of the cast inside the jail in their prison-issue tracksuits.
The ten celebrities will attempt to stay off the radar and remain at large for two weeks as a new crack team of hunters try and chase them down. With former police officers, intelligence, and army personnel hot on their tail and their faces recognisable across the UK, will they be able to remain undetected?
The celebrities will be taking part for Stand Up To Cancer, the joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4.
Shrewsbury Prison boss Joel Campbell shared more details about the tourist attraction's part in the show.
"They came to us because it naturally is a fantastic backdrop for a show about escaping fugitives. What better place to start than a prison?
"For our staff it was fun for them to see celebs they watch on a regular basis. I think they were as surprised as everybody when they saw the two helicopters flying quite low over the prison.
"Working with prison officers, we find ourselves using prison terminology quite a lot, and when the helicopters came you hear 'Rogue Elephant!' That's a prison term meaning there is something flying above in unauthorised air space.
"The tracksuits which we provided are all prison issue with no pockets. They are made that way so prisoners can't hide phones or anything like that."
This is the latest in a string of major shows being filmed at the prison. Last month it featured on an episode of The Apprentice, with Lord Alan Sugar saying those involved appeared to enjoy "banter behind bars".
Joel added: "I think it's a really good thing not only for the prison but for the town. It will show them going around Shrewsbury as they try and escape so, like with The Apprentice, it showcases Shrewsbury and Shropshire."
Early bird access to watch the show is available to paying subscribers on the Channel 4 website. It will be screened as normal on Channel 4 from the end of March.
To watch online, visit channel4.com/programmes/celebrity-hunted.
To give £40, £30, £20 or £10 text FORTY, THIRTY, TWENTY or TEN to 70404. To find out more about Stand Up To Cancer and how you can support, visit channel4.com/SU2C.