Last weekend there was speculation that Holly Willoughby might step into Ant McPartlin’s presenting shoes on I’m A Celebrity this November, if the star is still in rehab. Holly’s rep denied the rumours and now a good friend of Declan Donnelly, one half of comedy duo Ant & Dec, has spoken out on the plan for this year’s show.
The pal reportedly told The Mirror that the star “would never” front the show without his close friend Ant, who he is sure will be recovered in time for the start of filming. Ant is currently in rehab battling anxiety, depression and alcohol and painkiller addiction.
The friend continued: “Dec wouldn’t work on screen without Ant on any major show and he has said the last thing he would do is go to Australia without him. To say he would consider working with Holly was ridiculous. He is a good friend of hers but he would not do that to Ant.” The friend explained that the pair have a strong emotional bond and Dec will only host I’m A Celeb with Ant. A TV source also told the paper that it is business as normal for the hit show.
The previous report by the Daily Star had suggested TV bosses may have been lining up Holly to cover for Ant should he need more time in rehab. She was believed to producers’ number one choice, with a source telling the paper: “I’m a Celeb is ITV’s biggest show of the year so they’re keen to get a plan in place should Ant want to continue his down time. Holly is the number one choice, she’s the nation’s favourite and already a huge fan of the show – the perfect Jane of the jungle to Dec’s Tarzan!”
Ant entered a rehab facility last month to tackle his depression and addiction problems. Fans and celebrity friends supported the star and praised him for his openness about his personal battle.