Ant and Dec wasted no time in addressing the elephant in the room as they reunited on ‘I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!’ on Sunday (19 November) night, cracking a joke about Ant’s rehab stint in the opening minutes of the show.
The launch episode marked Ant McPartlin’s return to TV, after checking himself into a treatment facility for an addiction to painkillers earlier this year.
And as he and pal Declan Donnelly prepared to introduce the latest batch of celebrities entering the jungle, they tackled the topic in perfect fashion.
Referencing reports that claimed Ant could have missed the series and have been replaced by Holly Willoughby, Dec opened the show by saying: “Good evening and welcome to Australia. We are here for three weeks, your hosts with the most, me and the gorgeous Holly Willoughby...”
“What?!” Ant interrupted.
“That is the wrong script,” he said, before turning to his pal. “Nobody was sure if you would make it.”
“Unbelievable,” Ant joked. “I am back, my friend.”
“Good to have you back,” Dec said, pulling his mate in for a hug.
“Good to be back,” Ant added.
The star had been out of the spotlight in recent months, after he checked himself into a rehab in June, having admitted he had been struggling to manage the pain caused by a botched knee operation.
Fans took to Twitter to say how pleased they were to see them back together, also remarking how well Ant looked:
After leaving rehab in June, Ant opened up about his struggles in an interview with The Sun, revealing the extent of his addiction for the first time.
He subsequently spent some time in America in an attempt to escape press intrusion, as he continued his recovery.
Prior to Sunday’s show, the pair shared their delight in working together again, with Ant telling The Sun: “I’m excited to be back, I can’t wait. It’s going to be a good show. I’m feeling great.”
The launch episode of ‘I’m A Celebrity’ saw Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley, comedian Shappi Khorsandi, YouTuber Jack Maynard, footballer Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah, professional boxer Amir Khan, ‘Coronation Street’ star Jennie McAlpine, soap hunk Jamie Lomas, Toff from ‘Made In Chelsea’, The Saturdays singer Vanessa White and former footballer Dennis Wise all enter the jungle.
The show continues on Monday at 9pm on ITV.