Holly Willoughby CONFIRMED to join Dec on I'm A Celebrity this year

im a celeb holly dec

Holly Willoughby has been officially confirmed to join Dec on I'm A Celebrity this year.

Dec's usual co-host Ant stepped down from TV commitments earlier this year and recently confirmed he would not be back on TV until 2019.

It was previously announced in March that Ant was taking time off "for the foreseeable future" to seek treatment in rehab after pleading guilty to drink driving.

In a statement (on August 9), Ant said: “My recovery is going very well and for that to continue having spoken to Dec and ITV, I have made the decision to take the rest of the year off. I’d like to thank both Dec and ITV for their continued support and I look forward to getting back to work in the new year.”

Dec added: “Whilst I am obviously sad at the thought of being without my best friend in Australia this year, I am proud of the work Ant has been doing privately and I am fully supportive of his decision. I’m looking forward to us both being reunited on screen in 2019.”

ITV have confirmed that Dec will be joined by new co-host Holly for I'm A Celebrity this year

Holly Willoughby said: “I couldn’t be more excited to have been asked to stand alongside Dec for the next jungle adventure. I love Ant and want to send him my best wishes and support for a continued recovery. These are big shoes, not to fill, but just to keep warm for a little bit...

"Honestly, I’m a huge fan of ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and actually feel like I’ve won a competition to go and hang out on my favourite show! When is it a good time to tell Dec I’m scared of everything that moves?!”

Declan Donnelly added: “I am hugely grateful to Holly for agreeing to accompany me to Australia this year. She was at the top of my list and I’m thrilled she said yes. It will be a different kind of series but we will try our best to ensure it is no less fun and eventful for our loyal viewers.

"I am also pleased to hear Holly is scared of everything. I am almost stupidly excited at the thought of watching her during the eating trials!”

ITV’s Director of Television, Kevin Lygo commented: “Holly is a brilliant presenter with a wicked sense of humour who has always enjoyed a great friendship and rapport with Ant and Dec – I have no doubt she will take to Jungle life, if not the critters, really quickly.”

Although Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway co-star Stephen Mulhern had been rumoured, sources said previously producers are keen for a woman to join Dec.

A source explained: "Producers feel like whoever replaces Ant needs to be a woman to make a difference to the show, otherwise it would just look like a like-for-like replacement. That would risk it falling short for viewers."

I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here typically launches in November on ITV.

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