ant and dec im a celebrity 2016 series

I'm A Celebrity: ITV responds to reports Ant and Dec will be replaced

Is the future of the TV double act in jeopardy?

Gemma Strong

ITV has responded to reports that Ant and Dec will be replaced as hosts for the 2018 series of I'm A Celebrity. The future of the TV double act has been the source of much speculation ever since Ant returned to rehab following his drink-driving charge. Some sources have suggested that I'm A Celeb bosses are considering hiring someone new when the new series begins in November - despite the fact that the duo have hosted the jungle show every year since it began in 2002. But it seems the network are standing by the pair, with a spokesperson confirming to the Mirror: "It is utter nonsense to suggest that Ant and Dec are set to be replaced on I'm A Celebrity."

Ant and Dec have hosted I'm A Celebrity ever since it began in 2002

The news will come as a big relief to fans of the TV stars, who are already coming to terms with the fact that Ant will be missing from the final two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway, with Dec left to front the show on his own. In a statement released last week, ITV said, "ITV can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later."

STORY: Gary Barlow compares troubled Ant McPartlin to Robbie Williams

Dec, 42, also confirmed the news on Twitter in a heartfelt message to fans. "Whilst I never thought I'd be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we’ve decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead," he said. "We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that. Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series."

Dec has shared the happy news that he and his wife Ali Astall are expecting their first baby

There was happier news for Ant and Dec's supporters on Sunday night, however, when Dec announced that he and his wife of three years, Ali Astall, are expecting their first baby together. "Just wanted to say thank you for all the lovely messages. The news has sneaked out a little earlier than we had hoped but Ali and I are delighted to be expecting our first child. Thanks for all the love, we really appreciate it. D x," he wrote.

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