We actually got to see the new I’m a Celebrity double act of Dec and Holly forming in front of our eyes on screen tonight.
They got off to a wobbly start, both pausing to clutch at the handrail of the bridge they stood on looking very slightly lost and nervous.
But they launched into the usual jungle yell together and with only one big cheeky reference to ‘normally doing it with a man every night’, a clear nod to Ant from Dec.
They gradually built into a different but effective pairing with Holly acting the slightly sensible and disapproving straight guy sidekick to Dec’s hilariously naughty older schoolboy routine.
Holly and Dec got off to a wobbly start on the rope bridge
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You could see Holly making the fit consciously at first, mirroring Dec’s body language in a way that suggested she was trying hard to create some visual rapport.
They both performed some anxiety rituals, such as hand-wringing and a thumb-rubbing self-comfort gesture from Dec that did suggest he was missing Ant to start with.
Holly subconsciously mirrored Dec’s body language
(Image: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock)
But as Holly’s confidence levels increased, to the point where she was standing beside him with one hand on her hip and leading a lot of the scripted pieces, Dec was often at his hilarious best, making wonderfully sarky comments about the celebs while Holly adopted the more caring role beside him.
Holly gained confidence throughout the first episode
Holly’s critical parent role works well with Dec’s ‘free child’. It makes him funnier and gives her some authority.
We get to watch her showing empathy for the contestants while they’re struggling through the death-defying tasks while Dec stands sniggering behind his hand.
Holly’s critical parent role works well with Dec’s ‘free child’
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He’s the one who has seen it all on this show while she’s the one that still has to leave the set at the mention of snakes.
Ant and Dec had decades of growing up together to perfect their comedy timing and although ‘Holly and Dec’ is a very different and still slightly more awkward double act it was quickly forming into something that worked well enough to be laugh out loud.