Entertainment

Declan Donnelly’s mystery I’m A Celebrity co-host favourites revealed as Ant McPartlin takes extended break from TV

With Ant McPartlin receiving treatment in rehab for his addiction to alcohol, thoughts are turning to when we’ll next see the troubled star on screen.

It’s been confirmed that he won’t be involved in filming for the live Britain’s Got Talent shows this spring, leaving Declan Donnelly to present them by himself – as he did for the last two episodes of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

However, he will still appear in the pre-recorded footage shot at the auditions stage, which was filmed in November 2017 shortly before Ant and Dec jetted to Australia.

Declan Donnelly's mystery I'm A Celebrity co-host favourites revealed as Ant McPartlin takes extended break from TV

Ant has cancelled his upcoming work commitments, including Britain’s Got Talent

With Ant’s team cancelling all his upcoming work commitments, some fans are concerned that this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! may be in jeopardy.

And a few new names have been flung out seven months ahead of the expected launch show, just in case Ant is still considered too unwell to rejoin his telly partner of 30 years.

Betfair spokeswoman Katie Baylis told Mirror Online: “Now it’s been confirmed that Dec will host the finals of Britain’s Got Talent on his own, many people are wondering if that could also happen for I’m A Celebrity at the end of the year.

Declan Donnelly's mystery I'm A Celebrity co-host favourites revealed as Ant McPartlin takes extended break from TV

Who could ever replace Ant and Dec?

“We have it at 2/1 that Ant won’t be a part of the show in December, while it’s 5/1 that Dec will present by himself. Scarlett Moffatt is the 6/4 favourite to replace Ant if he doesn’t appear in the jungle and a co-host is chosen.”

Here’s who punters believe could replace Ant if he’s unable to present this year:

Scarlett Moffatt โ€“ 6/4

Georgia Toff olo โ€“ 2/1

Holly Willoughby โ€“ 8/1

Stacey Solomon โ€“ 12/1

Joel Dommett โ€“ 12/1

Stephen Mulhern โ€“ 16/1

Amanda Holden โ€“ 20/1

Susanna Reid โ€“ 33/1

However, in a statement to Mirror Online last month, ITV rubbished claims that Ant and Dec could be replaced by different presenters to ‘freshen up’ the format.

“It is utter nonsense to suggest that Ant and Dec are set to be replaced on I’m A Celebrity,” a spokesman told us.

It came after reports that production staff on I’m A Celeb were worried the show may not go ahead this year, and that ITV bosses would prefer to have two brand new hosts in rather than Dec by himself – but the broadcaster strongly denied the claims.

Declan Donnelly's mystery I'm A Celebrity co-host favourites revealed as Ant McPartlin takes extended break from TV
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It would have marked a huge change in the show as the Geordie pair have fronted I’m A Celeb since its very first series in 2002, and their faces are just as familiar to audiences as witchetty grubs and kangaroo anuses.

But even Dec’s stint on the show could be overshadowed now that his wife Ali Astall is expecting their first child.

Ali, 40, is reported to have fallen pregnant shortly after Dec’s return from the jungle in December 2017, meaning she’ll be due in September – two months before her husband would normally be packing his cases to head back Down Under.

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