I’m A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin’s absence

I’m A Celebrity felt very different tonight as Ant McPartlin was missing for the first time ever.

The 43-year-old presenter is sitting out this year to focus on his recovery from drink and prescription drug addiction after he was involved in a car crash In March and pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

He was replaced by This Morning host Holly Willoughby, who took Ant’s place alongside Dec Donnelly for the launch of the 2018 series.

Viewers waited in anticipation to see whether the new presenting duo of Dec and Holly would address the elephant in the room.

And they did not disappoint, as the cheeky pair poked fun at missing Ant in a hilarious moment.

I'm A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin's absence

Dec introduced his brand new co-host for this year’s I’m A Celebrity
(Image: ITV)

I'm A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin's absence

Dec joked about Ant being replaced at the start of last year’s series
(Image: ITV)

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Walking into the studio, Dec said: "The more eagle-eyed viewers among you will have already noticed a big change to the show.

"Yes one of the most gorgeous presenters on British television has been joined by Holly Willoughby."

Giggling Holly, who shook off any nerves immediately, had a little giggle.

She said: "This is so weird. Normally about this time I’m at home pouring myself a glass of wine.

Cheeky Dec replied: "Tonight she’s already drunk it and we’re ready for action."

I'm A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin's absence

Holly was on the bridge at the start of the show
(Image: ITV)

I'm A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin's absence

She walked into the studio with Dec
(Image: ITV)

This isn’t the first time that Ant’s antics have been joked about on the show.

Ironically the Geordie duo actually made fun of rumours that Holly would replace Ant last year after his first stint in rehab.

Referencing the rumours about Holly replacing Ant, Dec joked: "It’s me and the gorgeous Holly Willoughby!"

I'm A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin's absence

I'm A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin's absence

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Ant replied: "What? Sorry? What?"

Naughty Dec added: “Guys that is the wrong script you have put the wrong script on the screen.

“Nobody was sure if you would make it or not. We didn’t know if you would be here.”

Ant then said: “Unbelievable. I was always gonna make it. Come on, I’m back my friend.”

The pair then hugged and Ant said: “It is good to be back, you’re still a nice cuddler ain’t you?”

I'm A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin's absence

Holly is loving her start to jungle life
(Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

I'm A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin's absence

Dec and Holly watch the first trial together
(Image: James Gourley/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Dec and Holly have actually already had their first row in the jungle as the Geordie presenter tried to win up his co-host in a trailer.

Cheeky Dec playfully teased his new co-host about her fears of all the terrifying creatures that appear on the show.

Talking to viewers, he said: "We are almost ready for you here in Australia with 10 new terrified celebrities."

I'm A Celebrity 2018: Holly and Dec make savage joke about Ant McPartlin's absence

Dec has already been winding Holly up
(Image: ITV)

Looking very nervous, she replied: "Scared would be a better word."

Trying to reassure her, Dec replied: "You have nothing to be scared about Holly."

However, the cheeky chap quickly added: "Except rats, spider, snakes."

Giving a disapproving look to camera, she said: "This is going to be a long three weeks isn’t it."

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! starts on Sunday 18 November at 9pm on ITV

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