Belfast Telegraph

New co-host for Dec on I’m A Celebrity… as Ant replaced, ITV boss reveals

He declined to say who Dec’s new jungle partner would be

Declan Donnelly will not present I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! alone when it returns later this year.

A new co-host has been chosen to replace Ant McPartlin, ITV’s director of television Kevin Lygo told the Edinburgh TV Festival, but he declined to reveal who it would be.

Donnelly’s long-time presenting partner will be taking the rest of the year off after stepping back from TV commitments and public appearances following a drink-driving conviction which saw him banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000.

The duo have presented the programme in the Australian jungle together since it began in 2002.

Lygo joked: “It’s going to be Piers Morgan. No, I don’t know, it could be Jeremy Corbyn. I can’t say.”

Speaking about McPartlin, Lygo said: “The good news is that he’s doing really well, he’s doing everything he should be doing to get better.

“We collectively thought, let’s give it a good amount of time off, this is a slow procedure, that’s what we’ve decided to do.

The duo’s programme Saturday Night Takeaway will not air next year while McPartlin takes his break.

Lygo said: “With Takeaway, it’s not coming back because we do an enormous amount of work for it now before it airs in February and March, and it’s a lot of work and I think it was important for Ant, from his point of view, to not worry about doing any work.

“They’re so amazing and honest and professional and fastidious about their shows.”

Lygo reckoned Ant and Dec’s favourite show is Saturday Night Takeaway: “They’re so proud of it and they want it to be perfect and bigger and better.”

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