Declan Donnelly says Ant McPartlin will be 'back stronger' for next year's 'I'm A Celebrity'

Ant and Dec (Credit: ITV)
Ant and Dec (Credit: ITV)

Declan Donnelly has promised that his long-time presenting partner Ant McPartlin will be ‘back stronger next year’ to helm I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.

Ant is having a year off his TV work following his high-profile conviction for drink-driving, as he deals with his issues with alcohol.

“As always I’m incredibly excited to be heading to Oz for I’m A Celebrity,” Dec told the Daily Mirror.

‘”It is obviously tinged with sadness that Ant won’t be coming this year, I’m going to really miss him, but it’s only for one series and he’ll be back stronger next year.”

Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly (Credit: ITV)

This Morning star Holly Willoughby has been drafted in to replace Ant as Dec’s co-host, with Dec adding that it was important that he wasn’t hosting with another man.

“I didn’t want to host this series with another guy so Holly was top of my list,” he said.

He added that Willoughby might have some adjusting to do.

“I had heard Holly was a bit scared and then saw her doing a Bushtucker Trial on her last day on This Morning which involved a toy spider and some kittens and she nearly cried doing that. She needs to toughen up fast,” he added.

“I have given her a few [tips], like always check the inside of your shoes before you put them on and what to do if you get a tick or a leech attach itself to you. But I had to stop because I thought she was going to faint.”

Holly said of Ant: “Yes, we’ve spoken and he’s happy – he was part of the decision that I’d do it. He just needs to look after himself – that’s the most important thing. He knows I’ll look after the show and keep it warm for him. I know that next year I won’t be in the jungle.”

An official line-up is yet to be confirmed but it’s thought this year’s contestants included Corrie star Sair Khan, Anne Hegarty from The Chase, football manager Harry Redknapp, Hollyoaks actor Malique Thompson-Dwyer, and Nick Knowles.

It begins on November 18.

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