Ant McPartlin wishes his I’m A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Ant McPartlin has tweeted a message of good luck to Declan Donnelly – and Holly Willoughby – ahead of the launch of Sunday’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

The presenter – who is sitting this season out due to a year of personal problems – wrote on the micro-blogging site: ‘All the very best of luck to the little fella and @hollywills for the show tonight. Lots of love from the big fella!! [sic]’

Meanwhile, Dec took to Instagram on the same day – which also happens to be Ant’s 43rd birthday – to upload a shot of the pair of them dressed as Homer and Marge Simpson.

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Well wishes: Ant McPartlin has tweeted a message of good luck to Declan Donnelly – and Holly Willoughby – ahead of the launch of Sunday’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Good luck! The presenter – who is sitting this season out due to a year of personal problems – wrote on the micro-blogging site: ‘All the very best of luck to the little fella and @hollywills for the show tonight. Lots of love from the big fella [sic]’

He captioned the shot: ‘Happy Birthday Homer. Love, Marge x’

A source close to Dec has also insisted that he and Ant aren’t going anywhere as a twosome.

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Responding to rumblings that Dec was getting a flavour for presenting without his long-time TV partner, the source told The Mirror: ‘There is no rebrand of Dec as a solo act, he is very much looking forward to working with Ant again in 2019.’

The latest activity from the duo comes as Ant and his girlfriend Anne Marie Corbett have reportedly jetted off on holiday, amid the return of the much-loved ITV show. 

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Pals: Meanwhile, Dec took to Instagram on Sunday to honour his pal’s birthday, uploading a shot of the pair of them dressed as Homer and Marge Simpson

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Re-branding? Responding to rumblings that Dec was getting a flavour for presenting without his long-time TV partner, the source told The Mirror, ‘There is no rebrand of Dec as a solo act, he is very much looking forward to working with Ant again in 2019’

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

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Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

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Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

The pair are said to have flown off to be alone, away from the hoopla, to enjoy some winter sunshine and celebrate Ant’s birthday.

A source said, according to The Sun: ‘Ant wants to escape the spotlight and let Dec and Holly have their moment on TV. This is all going to be a little odd for everybody — Dec because he’s not with Ant, Holly because she’s stepping in and Ant because he’s missing for the first time.’

‘It’s not easy but Ant is conscious that a lot of people will be wondering where he is and if he is watching – and that will be an unhelpful distraction. So he and Anne Marie have chosen to get away from it all and have some time alone together with a bit of peace and quiet.

‘Ant will obviously miss it, but he hopes Holly does really well. They’re all friends and he’s certain she’ll be great – he’ll be rooting for them all.’ 

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Get him out of there! Ant and his girlfriend Anne Marie Corbett have reportedly jetted off on holiday, amid the return of I’m A Celebrity

Shortly after this post, two new shots of Dec and Holly sharing a laugh in the I’m A Celeb camp were uploaded, looking to be enjoying their time as co-hosts.

The celebrities are anxiously gearing up for three weeks of creepy crawlies, basic rations and adrenaline-fuelled bushtucker trials over in Australia.

And Holly and Dec were seen watching the new campmates compete in a bushland lake challenge near Byron Bay in Australia on Saturday.

The This Morning presenter, 37, and Dec, 43, got a fit of the giggles as they witnessed the yellow team capsize their canoe within moments of the race starting. 

During the nail-biting task, contestants were split into two teams, competing in a race to the middle of the lake to obtain a flag.

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Stand in: Holly is filling in for Ant as he sits this year’s season out, due to his personal struggles

The team then had to try to get their team, with their canoe, to the shore.

Holly and Dec looked on as the yellow team- consisting of Emily Atack, Fleur East, Anne Hegerty, Rita Simons and James McVey- struggled within minutes of the task starting. 

After launching themselves into the water, the group capsized their canoe, causing the presenting duo to burst into laughter.

Meanwhile the red team – Malique Thompson-Dwyer, John Barrowman, Harry Redknapp, Nick Knowles and Sair Khangot off to a stronger start- but appeared to have difficulty getting the canoe onto dry land.

It is thought the two teams went head-to-head to compete for food for the two separate camps, but viewers will have to tune into Sunday’s launch to find out who was victorious. 

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Jungle Jane: On Wednesday, Holly filmed herself in the Australian jungle ahead of Sunday’s first show, for a segment on This Morning

Dec and Holly will host the show, after Ant stepped down from all his TV commitments earlier this year following a stint in rehab, divorce and hefty drink-driving fine.

On Wednesday, Holly filmed herself in the Australian jungle ahead of Sunday’s first show, for a segment on This Morning.

The star admitted she was already freaked out by the wildlife as she said: ‘Hi Phil, hi Rochelle, it’s only me in the Australian jungle.’ 

She added: ‘I’ve arrived safe and sound, I’m settling into my new home. It’s amazing here! It’s so beautiful. For somebody that’s not that brilliant with nature, I’m sort of fitting in OK.

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

Watching on: The This Morning presenter, 37, and Dec, 43, got a fit of the giggles as they witnessed the yellow team capsize their canoe within moments of the race starting

‘I’ve seen a spider. It was only a little one, but it was a real-life spider. I’m lifting up toilet seats wherever I go. I’m checking inside my shoes. Yet to see a snake.’

‘We’ve done a few sort of rehearsal-y bits. I’ve done a Bushtucker Trial. Well, I haven’t done it, but I’ve watched one.’

Holly went on: ‘So I’ve seen crocodiles and stuff. Something’s just landed on my arm – eek!

‘There’s things that land on you everywhere. They have flies that bite. Everything bites.’

I’m A Celebrity kicks off on Sunday 18 November at 9pm on ITV.

I’M A CELEBRITY… GET ME OUT OF HERE! 2018: WHO ARE THE CELEBRITIES? Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

 

EMILY ATACK

Age: 28

Occupation: Comedy actress

Claim to fame:  Emily rose to fame on The Inbetweeners as Will McKenzie’s love interest Charlotte Hinchcliffe. She was recently dragged into the scandalous Seann Walsh headlines when historic pictures of her and the funnyman emerged amid claims they had a secret fling years ago. 

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

 

 HARRY REDKNAPP 

Age: 71 

Occupation: Football manager

Claim to fame: Harry has managed several football clubs, with his most famous being Portsmouth where his side won the 2008 FA Cup and Tottenham Hotspur. He also has quite the famous family with his footballer son Jamie Redknapp and fellow footballer nephew Frank Lampard.   

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

 

JOHN BARROWMAN

Age: 51

Occupation: Actor

Claim to fame: John is a famous actor known for his roles in Doctor Who, Torchwood and Desperate Housewives – to name a few. He has also appeared in several Broadway and West End shows, including Chicago and The Phantom of the Opera. John has also released three compilation albums.

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

FLEUR EAST  

Age: 31

Occupation: Singer

Claim to fame: Fleur rose to fame on The X Factor in 2014 where she finished as a runner-up. During her time on the competition, she became the first contestant to reach number one with her energetic performance of Uptown Funk. The talented songstress went on to release her hit single, Sax, which reached number three in the UK charts.

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

 

ANNE HEGERTY

Age: 60

Occupation: TV’s The Governess

Claim to fame: Anne has made a name for herself as a television quiz personality on The Chase, where she is nicknamed ‘The Governess’. She also hosts her own game show, Britain’s Brightest Family.

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

 

 SAIR KHAN

Age: 30

Occupation: Actress 

Claim to fame: Sair stars as Alya Nazir in Coronation Street and joined the cobbles in 2014. The actress will be following in the footsteps of her co-star Jennie McAlpine, who appeared on the 2017 series.

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

 

 NICK KNOWLES 

Age: 56

Occupation: TV presenter  

Claim to fame: Nick rose to fame on DIY SOS in 1999, which he still presents now. The television presenter has also hosted Who Dares Wins and 5-Star Family Reunion. 

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

 

RITA SIMONS

Age: 41

Occupation: Actress

Claim to fame: Rita rose to fame in EastEnders as Roxy Mitchell, first stepping foot in Walford in 2007. The actress’ character was sensationally killed off in a dramatic New Year’s Day episode in 2017, where she and her on-screen sister Ronnie tragically drowned in a swimming pool accident. Rita’s uncle is Billionaire businessman Lord Sugar.

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

JAMES MCVEY 

Age:  24

Occupation: Singer 

Claim to fame:  James is lead guitar and vocals in the British band, The Vamps, formed in 2012. The four-piece boy band have toured with Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez.

Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut Ant McPartlin wishes his I'm A Celeb stand-in Holly Willoughby luck ahead of her debut

 

MALIQUE THOMPSON-DWYER 

Age: 20

Occupation: Actor 

Claim to fame: Malique currently stars as Prince McQueen in Hollyoaks and joined the soap in 2016. The actor is following in the footsteps of his co-star Jamie Lomas, who appeared on the 2017 series