Ant McPartlin has confirmed he will not be returning to host the next series of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
Furthermore, it’s been agreed the next series of Saturday Night Takeaway will be postponed until 2020. This year has been a particularly troubling time for the prime time television host.
He has been undergoing rehabilitation since March, this year, after relapsing into an alcohol addiction, which culminated in a drink driving incident involving another family.
Questions were raised when McPartlin would be back on our screens following a turbulent year, and many fans were hoping he would reunite with long-time friend and co-presenter Declan Donnelly in time for the next series of I’m A Celebrity... .
However, in a statement to The Sun, McPartlin confirmed he would be taking an extended leave of absence – at least until 2019. This rules him out of any filming commitments for this year and the next series of Saturday Night Takeaway.
The 42-year-old, who rose to fame on BBC’s Byker Grove with Donnelly, stated:
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.
While Ant won’t be flying out to Australia to film the new series of I’m A Celebrity…, Dec will be heading out there. However, a decision has yet to be made whether he will host the show by himself or with another co-presenter.
Donnelly released his own statement as well, in which said:
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.
As a result, Ant and Dec and ITV have agreed to postpone the filming and production of Saturday Night Takeaway despite being one of ITV’s premier weekend shows. Fans of the show are unlikely to see it back on their screens until February 2020.
Both Ant and Dec agreed they did not want to jeopardise the show’s quality in McPartlin’s absence and felt putting the show on hiatus until his return was the best course of action.
A source told The Sun:
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 declared their network’s support for Ant, stating:
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.
While Ant is under no pressure to return soon, ITV is hoping he can return in time for next year’s Britain’s Got Talent.
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