Over the weekend it was reported that ITV were trying to work out a contingency plan for if Ant McPartlin isn’t well enough to return to I’m A Celebrity this autumn.
The TV legend is currently taking time out to deal with an addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs and ITV have granted him a year off to get himself back on track.
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And that has left them with a predicament.
Should Dec go it alone when the show returns in November, or should he be joined by a stand-in?
According to reports over the weekend, ITV have dipped into their small pool of talent and chosen the oh-so-predictable go-to telly stand-in, Miss Holly Willoughby.
While we do love a bit of happy bouncy Willoughby, fans of the show aren’t happy with the choice and actually have another name in mind, one that we reckon good be a good shout.
Entertainment Daily reader Valerie Williamson said: “No way, holly Willoughby, bloody ‘ ell at least get someone new, sick to death of TV at the mo, it’s all the same old crowd, who let’s face it have made a bunch of dosh, let some new “talent” have a go.”
Debra Russell seemed to echo this sentiment: “Nooooooo please not holly she seems to be on everything sick of seeing her Stephen mulhern is the perfect stand in if there as to be one. but I do think ants the best there so funny together Ant and DEC love em.!!!❤😃”
Another reader called Ann Pickford commented: “Please Please not Holly….it needs a male host not some silly twittering blonde! Someone suggested Stephen Mulhern, I think he would be a good choice, Definitely not Holly!!!!
Let’s hope Ant is feeling much better by November and can do it himself. Get Well Soon Ant, rooting for ya! Xxxxx
Meanwhile Kas Meghani also agreed that the magician would be a good stand in for Ant: “Stephen Mulhern (catchphrase host) would be a perfect temporary replacement I think 👍🏽 while Ant is getting better and getting his well deserved rest.
Dorothy Fletcher also wrote that she thought the Catchphrase host would be great to work alongside Declan Donnelly. “Stephen Mulhern would be perfect and great company for Dec as he will be lost without Anthony & they all 3 compliment each other , we need to keep the fun going 😁😃😂 he is a practical joker to 😂
Another ED reader Maggie Whitaker agreed, gushing: “Stephen Mullhern would have been great… they all get on so well and are so funny together… my opinion of course… but sounds like a no brainer to me..lol xx
However, Christine Beadle spoke for many when she stated that she thought perhaps the show should be rested until Ant’s better. “Only Stephen Mulhern or Scarlett Moffat would do,” she said, “But I say leave it until he has recovered properly without the pressure of having to return before he is ready. Dec should have the final say.”
As viewers of Takeaway and BGT will know, Stephen Mulhern has been a close mate of Ant and Dec’s for years and has had his make-up done by Ant’s wife Lisa Armstrong for just as long.
As they have formed such a tight bond, they have supported his career over the years and given him bigger and bigger slots on their other juggernaut show Takeaway.
So perhaps Stephen actually is the perfect choice to replace Ant on I’m A Celeb.
ITV bosses – our Entertainment Daily readers have spoken.