TV & Movies

Stephen Mulhern tells Chris Evans Virgin Radio show he felt 'uncomfortable' replacing Ant McPartlin on I'm A Celebrity – and bosses made the 'right call' with Holly Willoughby

STEPHEN Mulhern says he felt "uncomfortable" about the idea of replacing Ant McPartlin on I'm A Celebrity.

The Britain's Got More Talent host was rumoured to be up for the top job co-hosting with pal Declan Donnelly while Ant was in rehab.

But Stephen told the Chris Evans Virgin Radio Breakfast Show that he thinks bosses made the "right call" choosing Holly Willoughby.

He said: "There was a lot of talk about it, but it just felt really uncomfortable.

"There were more rumours, rather than meetings about the idea.

"I think they made the right call with Holly because she can't be compared to Ant.

"I don't think any male presenter would be right to stand beside Dec.

"They are a famous double act of our time and to try and step into Ant's shoes would be absolutely wrong."

The 42-year-old has been presenting the ITV2 spin-off show for its entire 13-year run.

He was joint favourite to take over from Ant in Australia after he was convicted of drink-driving in March last year.

Stephen told The Sun show bosses simply “couldn’t have gone with another guy” and ruled himself out of the running.

He said: “It had to be a female host and Holly was perfect. Holly and Dec worked a treat."

Ant has returned to telly full-time hosting Britain's Got Talent on Saturday nights.

He was given a warm welcome back from fans who were this weekend left awestruck by Ant and Dec's "undeniable bond".

A magician, known only as X, showed how the duo could feel when the other was touched.

Telling them to close their eyes, he (or she) touched Ant's arm and asked Dec to raise his hand if he felt someone touch him.

The audience gasped as Dec did raise his hand – and so did Ant when X did the same thing to his pal.

As it appeared that they could feel when the other got touched, Alesha Dixon squealed: "That sent chills through me."


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