Ant McPartlin broke months of silence on social media to thank fans after revealing he would be stepping down from this year’s ‘I’m A Celebrity’.
The presenter - one half of hosting duo Ant and Dec - shared a short message on Twitter, following the announcement he would not returning to TV for the rest of the year.
He wrote: “Thank you for all the messages of support. Ax.”
It followed an official statement from the star issued by his spokesperson, which read: “My recovery is going very well and for that to continue having spoken to Dec and ITV, I have made the decision to take the rest of the year off.
“I’d like to thank both Dec and ITV for their continued support and I look forward to getting back to work in the new year.”
As part of Ant’s on-going recovery following his charge for drink-driving earlier this year, he has stood down as co-host of this year’s ‘I’m A Celebrity’, as well as cancelling next year’s series of ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’.
The hit entertainment show will now not return until 2020, while it remains unclear if Ant will also resume filming the new series of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ when auditions kick off in January.
It’s not yet known whether Dec will front the upcoming series of ‘I’m A Celebrity’ by himself, or with a temporary co-host.
ITV boss Kevin Lygo has said plans for the show will announced “in due course”.
Dec said in a statement: “Whilst I am obviously sad at the thought of being without my best friend in Australia this year, I am proud of the work Ant has been doing privately and I am fully supportive of his decision. I’m looking forward to us both being reunited on screen in 2019.”
After Ant was arrested for drink-driving back in March, he quit all TV commitments and headed back to rehab, having spent two months there last year, after he became addicted to painkillers to help with a botched knee operation.
He was later fined £86,000 in court after pleading guilty to the drink-driving charge.