Ant McPartlin's jungle stand-in being lined up – this is who could be new face of I'm A Celebrity


A jungle replacement for Ant McPartlin in this year’s I’m A Celebrity may already be lined up – and it could be a famous face.

As the embattled Geordie battles alcohol and prescription pill addiction, show bosses are already thinking about who might be the best person to replace one half of Ant and Dec on their flagship reality programme.

With Ant in rehab, ITV has given him the option of taking a year off work so he can make a full recovery.

This means his usual six-week stint in Australia could be taken up by someone else – and the most popular option at the moment looks like Holly Willougby .

Holly Willoughby is hot favourite to head to Oz for jungle japes
Holly Willoughby is hot favourite to head to Oz for jungle japes

According to the Star On Sunday , This Morning’s Holly could be whisked off to Oz with her whole family in tow as show bosses want a safe pair of hands to take over from Ant.

“I’m a Celeb is ITV’s biggest show of the year so they’re keen to get a plan in place should Ant want to continue his down time,” an insider told the newspaper.

“Holly is the number one choice, she’s the nation’s favourite and already a huge fan of the show.”

The source added: “Building on-screen chemistry and relationships is what Holly does best, which is perfect for the jungle.”

Of course, this would leave This Morning without Holly, 36, for six whole weeks, meaning Philip Schofield would need another presenter beside him for the best part of two months.

Anthony McPartlin (and Declan Donnelly have been awarded an OBE
Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly receive OBE last year

Amanda Holden has filled in for Holly in the past, stepping in when she was on maternity leave in 2014.

The paper reports that if Holly were to take up the job, her entire family – including her and husband Dan’s kids Harry, Belle and two-year-old Chester – would also fly out there on ITV’s dime.

But Holly isn’t the only name in the ring. Others include Love Island host Caroline Flack, Queen of the Jungle Scarlett Moffatt, former I’m A Celeb star Mark Wright – and even Leigh Francis, best known for his comic persona Keith Lemon.

Former jungle star Mark Wright
Former jungle star Mark Wright

Queen of the Jungle, Scarlett Moffatt
Queen of the Jungle, Scarlett Moffatt

Meanwhile, Ant is three weeks into his two-month stay in rehab to dry out after becoming addicted to booze and Tramadol to deal with a knee injury made worse by botched surgery two years ago.

In a statement, the 41-year-old presenter admitted he was “truly sorry” for letting his friends and family down.

“The first step is to admit to yourself you need help,” he said.

Ant could be taking a year off as a bids for recovery
Ant could be taking a year off as a bids for recovery

“I feel like I have let a lot of people down and for that I’m truly sorry.

“I want to thank my wife, family and closest friends through this really difficult time.”

Ant’s work schedule has been cleared for the time being, although his 2018 projects – including Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain’s Got Talent – are still scheduled to start in the new year.

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