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9 August 2018, 15:29 | Updated: 9 August 2018, 15:42
Dec Donnelly will present the show on his own for the first time.
One of the most iconic things about I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here is the hilarious presenting duo that is Ant and Dec, but Ant McPartlin has made the decision not to take part in this year’s show in order to focus on his recovery.
Declan Donnelly will present this year’s series on his own for the first time, as Ant apologised to fans but reassured them that his recovery from his alcohol addiction must come first.
He told the tabloids, “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.”
Ant began rehab treatment in March after getting convicted of drink driving, and has decided to take this year to focus on getting better before he resumes his filming commitments, which were due to start imminently.
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.”
It was also confirmed that Ant won’t be resuming his presenting role for Saturday Night Takeaway until 2020. A source for the show explained, “Takeaway airs in February, but many viewers may not realise that the filming for the sketches and the preparation begins six months earlier - which is too soon for Ant.
“Sadly that means they have had to tell the production team today that they’re going to have to push the next run back until the following year.
“It’s a show they’re hugely passionate about personally and they’re extremely close to the team involved too - but everyone understands that this is a decision which hasn’t been taken lightly and are supportive. They all wish him the very best.”
ITV Director of Television Kevin Lygo said,"ITV is completely supportive of Ant taking as much time as he needs in his recovery and of this mutual decision to rest Takeaway in 2019.
“Ant is clearly making good progress and we wish him all the very best and look forward to him returning to ITV next year. An announcement on I'm A Celebrity... plans will be made in due course.”