There have been some pretty important issues to debate recently.
But surely the question of the greatest national importance has been: Will I’m A Celebrity survive without Ant?
Never mind the state of the nation, how are we supposed to get through hibernation season if our fave show is ruined?
But within five minutes of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here going live on ITV, we realised it really wasn’t.
A bit like waking up after the Millennium and realising it wasn’t the end of humanity, seeing Holly Willoughby standing in for Ant McPartlin was actually a bit of an anti-climax.
Holly and Dec were well, fine, to be honest. Of course they were, this is what they do. The chemistry fizzed, mainly thanks to Dec, and people laughed.
But there’s no denying the dynamic was not the same.
Holly, 37, knows how to work her magic on screen. She isn’t Britain’s top morning television presenter for nothing.
Holly is great mates with Dec Donnelly – but she is no Ant McPartlin
(Image: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock)
Holly was resplendent as always, although she looked slightly like she was off to a funeral
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She’s great mates with Dec Donnelly, 43, part of that ITV clique that we always see getting sozzled together at the National Television Awards.
She can bring a bit of glamour and she’s scared of creepy crawlies.
But she seemed more nervous than John Barrowman up a ladder, and this showcased not so much that Ant was missing, but that her TV partner Phillip Schofield was missing. It was as if she’d lost her mojo.
“Welcome! The more eagle-eyed viewers among you will have noticed, one of the most gorgeous presenters on British television has been joined by Holly Willoughby!” quipped Dec, a much happier host with someone by his side.
Cue cheers and laughter from the crew.
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“This is so weird,” said Holly, resplendent as always, although she looked slightly like she was off to a funeral.
A trailer showed us an animal-themed outfit, so I’m hoping we’ll see some jungle chic later on.
Ant and Dec have an edge and shorthand that only lifelong best friends can have – Holly can’t beat that. But this was a chance for Dec to take the reins for once, like a big brother. And he did.
Holly was quieter than we’re used to. She played it straight, leaving it to Dec to make all the gags for now.
“Fabulous!” he kept shouting, making Holly giggle and roll her eyes. It was a bit staged, but Dec seemed to relish his new role.
“I’ve never actually done it with a girl before,” Dec laughed. More eye rolling from Holly.
She wasn’t as relaxed as she is with Phillip – maybe the banter will develop?
Emily Atack screamed her way through the show
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However, their natural matey charm sparkled enough that I can’t imagine the show’s 10 million viewers will turn off.
But if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that this juggernaut of a show is now bigger than them.
It’s not just about Ant and Dec, it’s about Bushtucker Trials, nauseating challenges, fighting over hammocks and screeching from great heights.
Before we knew it, Barrowman was flossing on a speedboat and a helicopter whisked him, Coronation Street’s Sair Khan, ex-EastEnder Rita “I am bricking it” Simons and The Vamps’ guitarist James McVey off to The Edge.
Holly is only keeping the seat warm for Ant – right?
The celebs tackled the show’s highest ever challenge, climbing up two 100m towers at Queensland beauty spot Tanniba Falls, before they could pick their teammates from TV presenter Nick Knowles, Harry Redknapp, The Chase star Anne Hegerty, actor Emily Atack, singer Fleur East and Hollyoaks soap star Malique Thompson-Dwyer.
By this point I’m afraid I’d already forgotten that I was supposed to be missing Ant.
News of Holly stepping into his shoes split viewers, but Dec needed a new partner and Holly was the obvious choice.
I imagine it will be a tough month for Ant.
But he doesn’t need to worry for his job – Holly’s only keeping the seat warm, right?
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