Ant McPartlin will not host this year’s I’m a Celeb to continue ‘recovery’

ITV said McPartlin and his presenting partner, Declan Donnelly, made the “joint decision” not to present a new series of Saturday Night Takeaway next year.

Donnelly will host I’m a Celebrity without his long-time TV partner.

It’s the first time the show will be hosted without McPartlin since it began in 2002.

In March, McPartlin announced he would be temporarily stepping down from his TV work to seek rehab following his arrest for drink-driving in March.

In a statement on Thursday, McPartlin said: “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.”

Donnelly said he supported his friend’s decision, and looked forward to an on-screen reunion next year.

“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,” he said.

ITV director of television Kevin Lygo said an announcement on I’m A Celebrity plans would be made “in due course”.

McPartlin was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice the legal limit.

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