ITV studio head Kevin Lygo considers Ant McPartlin "irreplaceable" on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!.
Embattled presenter Ant McPartlin will be returning to TV screens to host I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! this November (17), ITV boss Kevin Lygo has revealed.
The 41-year-old presenter recently returned home after seeking treatment for his addiction to painkilling drugs in rehab. The timescale of his small screen return was unknown, with reports that ITV had agreed to give him as much time off as he needed.
But as he spoke at the Edinburgh Television Festival on Wednesday, ITV studio head Kevin insisted that Ant is expected to be well enough to host I'm A Celebrity alongside best friend and presenting partner Declan Donnelly.
When the Radio Times asked him if ITV had considered resting the much-loved series, Kevin responded: "How very dare you. Ant is doing really well and we’re expecting him to return to I’m A Celebrity, so we won’t be resting it."
And asked if he thought of Ant as irreplaceable on I'm A Celebrity, Kevin answered with an enthusiastic: "Yes!"
It was previously revealed that Ant's television comeback is reliant on him being signed off by his doctors - especially as presenting I'm A Celebrity requires him to fly to Australia.
"Ant obviously wants to be back if he can be, but in the end it will come down to what the doctors say - and he won’t go against their advice," a source told The Sun earlier this year. "His recovery is ongoing and for insurance reasons he’d have to be fully signed off by a doctor before heading to Australia this year.
“Everyone is hopeful and things are going in the right direction, but ITV have made it clear they aren’t going to rush him and he’ll take the advice he is given. Nobody wants to see him do himself more harm than good by racing back too soon."