Ant reveals he 'couldn't watch' I'm A Celebrity last year as he confirms return in 2019

Ant & Dec

Ant McPartlin has said he 'couldn't watch' I'm A Celebrity last year when Holly Willoughby took over.

The TV host missed 2018's series after taking a year out from TV work.

Holly stepped in to help co-host alongside Declan Donnelly but Ant avoided tuning in.

However, he still found out how the pair got on thanks to an awkward blunder by an ITV executive.

“I’ll tell you a funny story. I told the senior executive at ITV that I’m not going to watch the show because it will be hard for me," he said. "I turned me phone on and a text came through from a senior ITV executive. It just said: ‘Congratulations on a hilarious opening, well done you two. He’d clearly gone to text Holly and Dec but texted me.

"I replied: ‘Funny, I didn’t see it myself.’ But I let Dec know about it. It was funny. I was fine by that point.”

Ant went on to tell The Sun newspaper: “I’ve seen bits since I’ve got back. I thought they’ve done a great job. I thought Holly was fantastic. I thought she was a real tonic for the show.

“Me and Dec are long in the tooth now — we’ve seen every Bush Tucker trial there is. So to see someone’s reaction for the first time. I knew she’d be a success. The line-up was brilliant.”

Meanwhile, Ant confirmed he would be back alongside Dec to host this year's series of the jungle show.

He said: “That was the great thing about Holly. It was a one-year gig. That was the brief, a one-off. I was thankful that it was her because she was looking after my mate out there and looking after the show. And she doesn’t need the work — she can’t get off the telly!”

I'm A Celebrity airs on ITV.

Dec will reunited with Ant on set of Britain's Got Talent this month when auditions for the new series started filming.

The show, which will air on ITV in the Spring, saw Dec go it alone for the live shows of the latest run in 2018.

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