Declan Donnelly flashes a huge smile with wife Ali Astall in Australia… as he prepares to host I’m A Celebrity without Ant McPartlin for the first time
- Declan Donnelly, 43, has touched down in Australia ahead of I’m A Celeb’s return
- He headed out with wife Ali Astall in the Gold Coast – the couple were without their two-month old daughter Isla
- Dec is set to host I’m A Celebrity with Holly Willoughby when it returns on Sunday 18 November
- Ant McPartlin has been replaced by Holly as he takes an extended break from TV
- It will be the first time Ant hasn’t co-hosted the show in 16 years
He has touched down in Australia ahead of I’m A Celebrity’s big return.
And unable to hide his delight as he prepares for the show’s comeback, Declan Donnelly was seen flashing a huge smile as he stepped out in the Gold Coast on Friday.
The presenting star, 43, was seen heading out wife wife Ali Astall, as they headed to the shops – no doubt to stock up on necessities for their stay Down Under.
Excited to be back? Declan Donnelly, 43, was seen flashing a huge smile as he stepped out in the Gold Coast with wife Ali Astall on Friday
Pleased to be back, Dec couldn’t hide his delight as he made his way out into the sunshine with Ali by his side.
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The Saturday Night Takeaway host cut a casual figure for the low-key outing, as he paired together a navy polo shirt and shorts. Dec hid behind a pair of designer shades and appeared relaxed as he hit the shops with Ali.
She embraced the sunnier climes in a pretty white crochet dress and black loafers. Ali sported a pair of stylish shades and wore her blonde locks back into a loose ponytail.
The mother-of-one and Dec were escorted by two security guards throughout their shopping trip and appeared to be without daughter Isla, two months.
Low-key: The presenting star was seen heading out wife wife Ali Astall (above), as they headed to the shops – no doubt to stock up on necessities for their stay Down Under
Casually clad: The Saturday Night Takeaway host cut a casual figure for the low-key outing, as he paired together a navy polo shirt and shorts
Relaxed: Dec hid behind a pair of designer shades and appeared relaxed as he hit the shops with Ali
Calm before the storm: Pleased to be back, Dec couldn’t hide his delight as he made his way out into the sunshine
The couple welcomed their fist child together in September, with proud dad Dec gushing that he is ‘head over heels’ with his little girl on her arrival.
While Dec has his family for company while out in Australia, he is missing close pal Ant McPartlin.
Ant will not present I’m A Celebrity’s new series with Dec, as he has decided to take an extended break from TV to continue his recovery, following a drink drive incident and rehab treatment for a painkiller addiction.
It will be the first time the embattled star hasn’t presented I’m A Celebrity in 16 years.
Holly Willoughby has been drafted in as Ant’s replacement and has been seen making her way to Australia, as she prepares to join Dec on camera.
Chic: Ali embraced the sunnier climes in a pretty white crochet dress and black loafers
Lovely! She sported a pair of stylish shades and wore her blonde locks back into a loose ponytail
Holly’s addition to I’m A Celebrity was confirmed in August and she will be joined in Australia by her husband Dan Baldwin and their three children; Harry, nine, Belle, seven, and Chester, four.
She revealed that she will be taking her brood out of school to join her overseas this month, meaning that her offspring could be missing up to a month of school as I’m A Celeb traditionally runs for three weeks.
Holly admitted she was swayed to accepting the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Australia when she knew she was able to fly her children out there with her.
The This Morning star shared her three young kids’ disappointment when they found out she was hiring a tutor and their stay in Australia wasn’t going to be a holiday.
Proud parents: The couple appeared to be without two-month old daughter Isla
New addition: The couple welcomed their fist child together in September, with proud dad Dec gushing that he is ‘head over heels’ with his little girl on her arrival
Previously speaking about her addition to I’m A Celebrity, Holly said she ‘couldn’t have been more excited’ to fill Ant’s shoes, as she declared: ‘These are big shoes, not to fill, but just to keep warm for a little bit.’
Dec added: ‘I am hugely grateful to Holly for agreeing to accompany me to Australia this year. She was at the top of my list and I’m thrilled she said yes.’
Holly has claimed she ‘never wanted’ to be offered a presenting spot on I’m A Celebrity. According to Daily Star, the mother-of-three said: ‘It was a job I never wanted to be offered because no one ever wanted the day to come when it was Dec without Ant.’
The presenting duo have been co-hosts across their 20-year career in television, and only in the last two years has Dec had to helm certain series without Ant, with I’m A Celeb being the latest.
Flying solo: While Dec has his family for company while out in Australia, he is missing close pal Ant McPartlin
New territory: Dec will be without his pal as Ant will not present I’m A Celebrity’s new series with Dec, as he has decided to take an extended break from TV to continue his recovery
But Holly added: ‘I told Ant that I would look after his show for him – because it’s still his show – and I would look after Dec for him.’
Holly also said that she feels bad as she ‘grew up’ with the duo on TV, and that their families are all very close off-camera. She insisted, though, that she is ‘taking a back seat’ to Dec, who will be at the helm of the show in Ant’s absence.
It’s believed ITV offered the presenting star a ‘six-figure deal’ to join Dec on the show, with insiders claiming she was always the number one choice for Ant’s stand-in.
They said: ‘She’s so popular and she’s got a great relationship with Dec, it was a no brainer. Holly’s worth her weight in gold and the fee reflects that.’
Holly, meanwhile, explained that she did not accept the presenting role without Ant’s blessing and insisted he was ‘part of the discussion from the off’.
Excited: Dec has championed Ant’s replacement Holly Willoughby – who has been spotted making her way to Australia ahead of her I’m A Celeb debut
At ease: Despite the big changes, Dec didn’t seem too fazed as he spent time with wife Ali
Stocking up: The duo wasted no time in getting settled in to their Australia home
Explained: Holly, meanwhile, has insisted Ant McPartlin WILL return to host I’m A Celebrity, as she insists she is ‘just looking after it until he gets back’
She has insisted that Ant will return to I’m A Celebrity in an interview with The Sun ahead of I’m A Celebrity debut.
Holly said: ‘l’m just looking after it until he gets back. It’s lovely that he trusted me with it.’
It has also been reported by The Sun that EastEnders’ Rita Simons, The X Factor’s Fleur East, DIY SOS’ Nick Knowles, The Vamps’ James McVey, The Chase’s Anne Hegerty, Coronation Street’s Sair Khan and Hollyoaks’ Malique Thompson-Dwyer will also join the trio.
I’m A Celebrity is set to kick off on Sunday 18 November, with Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby hosting the show, after Ant McPartlin stepped down from all his TV commitments earlier this year.
MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment.
From the heart: She revealed her delight that Ant (pictured) had ‘trusted’ her enough to keep his seat warm on the show while he takes a temporary break from his TV duties
Standing in: Holly has been drafted in to replace Ant – it’s the first time he hasn’t presented the show in 16 years
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