Holly Willoughby’s new onscreen partnership with Declan Donnelly has prompted a mixed response from I’m A Celebrity fans.
The This Morning host was drafted in to replace Ant McPartlin after it was announced he would be sitting this series out to focus on his recovery.
So far Holly’s appearance in the jungle has proved a major talking point with viewers, with some critics calling for her to be axed after just two episodes.
However, ITV have spoken out to squash rumours of Holly making an early departure and called talk of her leaving ‘absolute rubbish.’
"We are very happy with Holly presenting alongside Dec," a spokesperson told Digital Spy.
Holly’s presenting on I’m A Celeb has divided viewers
Some fans say they’ve been missing Ant and Dec’s banter
The statement comes after bookmakers cut the odds of Holly being replaced by former winner Scarlett Moffatt.
But ITV has a reason for keeping Holly as the show’s launch scored its highest ever viewing figures in five years.
A whopping 11 million people tuned in to watch Holly’s debut, making it the show’s biggest launch since 2013.
The figures also beat last year’s launch by 750,000.
- I’m A Celebrity’s Holly Willoughby makes vicious joke at Dec Donnelly’s expense
Bookmakers cut the odds on Scarlett Moffatt replacing Holly
(Image: Tim Merry/Daily Star)
This year’s I’m A Celeb received the best viewing figures in five years
The reality show’s overnight ratings were also the biggest of any TV show this year, aside from the World Cup, with 51% of the audience share.
And it’s said that jungle bosses are “over the moon” after not only bringing Holly in to replace Ant, but also spending big money to get in some household names, including former footballer manager Harry Redknapp.
A show insider told the Daily Star “Everyone works really hard to make the show a success but this year all the stops have been pulled out.
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Holly and Dec are guiding this year’s celebs through the trials and tribulations of jungle life
(Image: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock)
“We all wanted to make it a memorable year for Holly.”
Holly has already made her mark on the show, sparking a running joke about her co-host by describing him as “full of fun and only 5’1”.