Ant and Dec poke fun at Ant McPartlin's rehab stint during I'm A Celebrity launch

Last night, Ant McPartlin made his much-anticipated return to TV just five months after he entered rehab for an addiction to prescription painkillers and alcohol.

The star was joined by his co-host Declan Donnelly as the pair kicked off the new series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, and viewers were delighted when the Geordie stars acknowledged the massive elephant in the room.

Ant McPartlin returned to our screens last night. Copyright: [ITV]

Together, Ant and Dec made light of his time in rehab – and the consequent speculation that Ant might not be healthy enough to return to Australia and host the ITV reality show.

Introducing last night’s episode, Dec said: “Welcome to Australia we are back and we are here for the next three weeks, your hosts with the most, me and the gorgeous Holly Willoughby.”

Ant replied: “What? Sorry, what?”

Dec quipped back: “Guys, that is the wrong script. You have put the wrong script on the screen,” turning to Ant he added: “Nobody was sure if you would make it or not. We didn’t know if you would be here.”

The pair were papped looking excited when they arrived in Australia last week. Copyright: [Rex]

Embracing his best friend, Ant responded: “Unbelievable. I was always going to make it. Come on, I’m back my friend.”

Ant and Dec then returned to their usual jokes as they got on with the rest of the show, however, Dec couldn’t resist taking another swipe at his co-star later in the show.

After Ant slammed a small model of the celebrities’ camp on their desk, Dec joked: “That took me all summer to make that. On my own.

“Where were you all Summer? What were you doing?”

Dec couldn’t resist another quip at his friend’s expense. Copyright: [ITV]

A sheepish Ant replied: “Just stuff. I was busy. Roll VT.”

Needless to say, fans were delighted by Ant’s return and took to social media to praise the way his rehab stint had been handled:

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues on ITV tonight.

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