Christine Lampard: 'I believe in ghosts... I don't need to have it confirmed'
Christine Lampard and Matt Richardson are back with another scare-fest, says Gemma Dunn, but which celebrity will become top ghoul hunter?
There's no denying watching celebrities partake in reality TV makes for great entertainment, but add to the mix ghostly goings-on and you've got yourself a winning formula. Enter Celebrity Haunted Mansion: the bigger and badder successor to W's Celebrity Haunted Hotel.
Broadcast live, the W channel scare-fest - once again hosted by Christine Lampard and Matt Richardson - will see two teams of famous faces, assisted by their paranormal expert team captains, head into a deserted Gothic estate for a total of five fearsome nights.
Each night, there will be a climactic live ghost hunt testing bravery and investigation skills to the limit, whereby two stars will leave the show.
Those who survive will battle to reach the final, where only one celebrity can be crowned champion ghost hunter.
One thing's for sure, Lampard (39) wouldn't brave the shadows alone.
"We've got people (the crew) with us, which is really crucial," she says, only too pleased to sideline the action. "Venturing to do tasks and rooms on your own does not do anything for me at all. I would just be dreadful."
"I think we're going to push ourselves this year and go and do some bits though," chimes Richardson (26). "Although, Christine is very hesitant about this."
"I'm a little bit funny about it," she admits. "I'm just not fussed on it. I believe and that's enough for me. I don't need to see something for the confirmation.
"Years ago, did you ever do ouija boards and things? See, I would never have done that. Do you remember last time, when they had the ouija board on the programme? The reason they're supposedly so evil is that people don't know how to shut them down afterwards.
"If you leave it open, that's when all the crazy stuff happens. I don't want any of that crazy stuff."
Luckily, this season's guests are proving more forthcoming. While the entire line-up is yet to be confirmed, the popular duo can confirm reality favourite Katie Price is on board, as is Corrie veteran - and paranormal obsessive - Simon Gregson.
"Katie Price was tweeting during the show last year, asking if we could get her down there," says comedian Richardson. "She basically booked herself onto the show."
"We're really excited about Simon, purely because you just don't see him do any of these kind of shows," adds Lampard.
"He's never done reality, ever. You hardly see him doing interviews, so to have him involved just because he's genuinely interested is fantastic."
However, this time the rules are different. Previously, celebrity guests checked in to the spooky lodgings for a night or two.
In the reincarnation, we will see the well-known names eliminated each night until there are two left to fight it out.
"Last time, we'd have interaction with them in the day, too, whereas this time they're being isolated from everyone," reveals Richardson, who is also set to present sister show Celebrity Haunted Mansion: High Spirits.
"They're filming all night and then sleeping during the day, so they're not really going to see daylight. They're having their phones and everything taken off them, so that's their world for a week."
"It's going to mess with your head," quips Lampard. "I think from a viewer perspective, it will be really fascinating."
And there's absolutely no gimmicks - no camera tricks? "No, absolutely not," she shoots back.
"Our problem is the purists," Richardson reasons. "Because we've turned it into this big entertainment show, people who watch Most Haunted are like, 'It should be Yvette Fielding in a room with a shaky camera and Derek Acorah doing his voices'.
"Basically, we're mashing together two types of show: Most Haunted and I'm A Celeb.
"People think we're disrespecting it in some way because we're not doing it in the way that they think it should be done, which I understand. But you've got two things here: people want to see ghosts and weird things happen."
"Exactly. It's worth watching, whether you believe in ghosts or not," agrees Lampard.
"And by the nature of what it is, we're on standby for anything happening, so it's very reactive."
Are they expecting the show to be a conversational hit on social media, then?
"I take what comes," Richardson answers first. "I just assume everything I'm going to do is going to get cancelled anyway. And then, if you get another one, it's a bonus."
Celebrity Haunted Mansion, W, Wednesday, 9pm