Monday 16 September 2019

Holly Willoughby – Ant was part of decision that I would host I’m A Celeb

The TV star will fill in for Ant McPartlin to co-host the show with Declan Donnelly.

Holly Willoughby (Steve Parsons/PA)
Holly Willoughby (Steve Parsons/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Holly Willoughby has said Ant McPartlin was part of the decision that she would fill in for him hosting I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here.

The This Morning star will present the series alongside Declan Donnelly this year, while McPartlin takes a break from his presenting jobs following his arrest for drink driving.

She told Mail On Sunday’s You magazine: “We’ve spoken and he’s happy – he was part of the decision that I’d do it.

“He just needs to look after himself, that’s the most important thing.”

Willoughby, 37, added that landing the high-profile job was “definitely bittersweet”.

She said: “I’m A Celebrity is a huge show but nobody wanted to have to be asked to do it. It’s not nice for anyone.”

She continued: “He knows I’ll look after the show and keep it warm for him.”

The transition will be made easier because Willoughby has a long friendship with Donnelly, and she said: “On I’m A Celebrity it’s important to have chemistry and to have a friendship as a starting point you can grow from.

“It’s that unspoken thing: you know how the other person speaks, how their sentences are going to end. That helps a lot.”

Willoughby also addressed her decision to walk away from her lifestyle brand Truly, just weeks before its launch.

She said: “When you’re making a decision that involves your children a certain amount of clarity comes with it.

“It was the right thing. You can’t do everything, and actually I don’t think many of us want to do everything.”

Willoughby has already flown to Australia ahead of the start of the series, where she will be joined by her children Harry, nine, Belle, seven, and Chester, four, as well as her parents.

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Shake time... 🥤🥤🥤

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She said that even though she can afford childcare, she wants to be as hand-on a mum as possible, adding: “Just because you can pay for something, it doesn’t change the emotional make-up of your being and your wants and desires to be a mum.

“I still dream of having a lifestyle brand but it’s not good enough to have that selfish dream when your kids are getting older and have their own interests. It’s not just about me any more.

“My eldest, Harry, does football in the evenings and if I’d launched Truly I would have been working rather than taking him to training and watching him play.

“Belle is into a lot more things as she gets older. It wouldn’t have been fair. My job as a mum isn’t just to provide for my children, it’s to be there.

“Davina [McCall, her close friend] says when she doesn’t spend enough time with her kids she feels as though she’s going grey inside and I know what she means. When it comes to the kids I don’t ever want to feel I’m missing out on stuff

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