Red-hot favourite to replace Ant McPartlin on I’m A Celebrity… revealed

ITV have yet to confirm Ant's return

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With I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! due back on our screens next month, ITV have still not confirmed whether Ant McPartlin will be hosting.

He’s obviously had a difficult time of it this year, and was very open about his stint in rehab this summer.

Initial fears that he wouldn’t be well enough to head to Australia for this years’s show were allayed, as the Geordie fave appeared to be making headway in his recovery.

Indeed ITV boss Kevin Lygo told the Edinburgh International TV Festival in August: “Ant is doing really well and we are expecting him to return for I’m a Celebrity.”

And a source told the Sunday Mirror they were confident Ant would be fit and well for the jungle.

“With his commitment and new-found strength, those close to him believe he will be back on TV in November,” they said.

“It’s something he is working towards and focusing on.”

However, we are now in October, and Ant is currently in LA, having jetted out with his agent last week – reportedly to get some space.

A source told The Sun: “He’s gone to get away from the spotlight. He’s in recovery and it’s important he has time and space.”

“Paul [Worsely’s gone to provide support. He is one of his closest friends.”

Ant’s rep told the Huffington Post that the press intrusion was not aiding his recovery, “Having people outside his door and following him to the shop or on a dog walk is harming his progress. ”

Caroline Flack is now being mooted as the favourite presenter to replace Ant that the filming has been pushed back to allow Ant the timeout and space he needs.

She seems an interesting proposition – especially as she presented the ITV2 spin off show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here NOW for two years.

That said, Dec reportedly told friends that he would NEVER host a show without Ant and has no intention on working without Ant on any “major” show.

A source told the Daily Mirror: “He has said the last thing he would do is go to Australia without him.”

It would be a shame to miss out on our annual fix of I’m A Celebrity… but if Ant isn’t well enough, it just doesn’t make sense to do it without him.