As the face of Britain's Got More Talent, Catchphrase and In For a Penny, ITV darling Stephen Mulhern was considered by many to be a shoo-in for the new presenter of I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018, after Ant McPartlin was forced to take a break due to personal reasons. But Stephen has revealed that TV bosses wanted to switch up the formula with the new presenting and wanted to see Declan Donnelly present the ITV reality show alongside a woman.
"You couldn't have gone with another guy," Stephen said, "It had to be a female host." However, the magician-turned-presenter was keen to dispel any rumours of animosity between himself and Holly, who first worked together on CITV Saturday morning show Ministry of Mayhem in 2004, and sung the This Morning frontwoman's praises. "It was the best possible choice, Holly was perfect," he said. "Holly and Dec worked a treat."
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Stephen demonstrated his presenting chops last year, stepping up to the plate when Ant pulled out of the final episodes of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in order to go into rehab. Taking on a larger role and presenting more segments on the show, Stephen, who was a close friend of the Geordie presenter, never intended to take over his friend's role. "You can't replace Ant," Stephen said. "I'm not going to step into a friend's shoes. I couldn't do as well as him and I'm just pleased he's back."
Ant and Dec returned to our TV screens on Saturday for a brand new series of Britain's Got Talent. Earlier in the week, BGT boss Simon Cowell opened up about Ant's return to the show. Speaking to Dan Wootton on Lorraine, Simon said: "It's like it never happened. That's when you know it's comfortable because it's like we're all back together again, we are friends. These things happen, I really did miss him. It's the happiest I've seen him in a long, long time."
READ: Ant McPartlin's Britain's Got Talent return brings in biggest TV audience so far