Ant McPartlin confirms he is NOT returning for this year’s I’m A Celebrity

Ant and Dec WILL be reunited...but not for a while. Ant McPartlin has announced he is not returning for this year's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

Ant McPartlin has announced he will not co-present I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here with long-time buddy Declan Donnelly, when the ITV reality show returns later this year.

Production of Saturday Night Takeaway, also presented by Ant and Dec, is now being delayed and the ITV entertainment show won’t return until 2020.

Ant has dropped out of the spotlight since he was fined £86,000 for drink-driving earlier this year. In a statement on the official Ant and Dec website the star said:

“My recovery is going very well and for that to continue having spoken to Dec and ITV, I have made the decision to take the rest of the year off. I’d like to thank both Dec and ITV for their continued support and I look forward to getting back to work in the new year.”

Meanwhile, Dec will still present the next series of I’m A Celeb, but it has yet to be announced if he’ll be hosting solo or paired-up with another presenter.

Dec said: “Whilst I am obviously sad at the thought of being without my best friend in Australia this year, I am proud of the work Ant has been doing privately. And I am fully supportive of his decision.”

ITV Director of Television Kevin Lygo said: “ITV is completely supportive of Ant taking as much time as he needs in his recovery and of this mutual decision to rest Takeaway in 2019. Ant is clearly making good progress and we wish him all the very best and look forward to him returning to ITV next year. An announcement on I’m A Celebrity plans will be made in due course.”

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! returns to ITV later this year