Holly Willoughby ‘the perfect candidate’ to replace Ant McPartlin


He recently announced he would host the final two shows of Saturday Night Takeaway alone, after Ant McPartlin admitted himself to rehab after being charged with drink-driving.

And fans are calling for Holly Willoughby to step into the embattled presenter’s role as Declan Donnelly’s co-host, describing the 37-year-old as the ‘perfect candidate’ for the job.

It comes months after the 42-year-old playfully teased Ant, also 42, that the This Morning star was set to replace him on I’m A Celebrity, joking; ‘no one was sure if you would make it or not’, after he checked into rehab last June. 

'Fab contender': Fans are calling for Holly Willoughby to step into the embattled presenter's role as Declan Donnelly's co-host, describing the 37-year-old as the 'perfect candidate'

'Fab contender': Fans are calling for Holly Willoughby to step into the embattled presenter's role as Declan Donnelly's co-host, describing the 37-year-old as the 'perfect candidate'

‘Fab contender’: Fans are calling for Holly Willoughby to step into the embattled presenter’s role as Declan Donnelly’s co-host, describing the 37-year-old as the ‘perfect candidate’

In the joke, Dec immediately opened the 2017 series by joking about his friend’s much-anticipated return.

He said to viewers: ‘I’m here with the gorgeous Holly Willoughby…’ before adding in mock horror: ‘Wait, no! Guys that’s the wrong script! You’ve put the wrong script in!’

Turning to Ant, who was stood in mock outrage, Dec continued the joke by stating, in reference to his pal’s rehab stint: ‘No one was sure if you would make it or not!’

Best pals: Holly has been firm friends with the dynamic duo for years (Pictured with Dec in 2008) 

Best pals: Holly has been firm friends with the dynamic duo for years (Pictured with Dec in 2008) 

Best pals: Holly has been firm friends with the dynamic duo for years (Pictured with Dec in 2008) 

Fans favourite: It comes months after the 42-year-old playfully teased Ant, also 42, that the This Morning star was set to replace him on I'm A Celebrity

Fans favourite: It comes months after the 42-year-old playfully teased Ant, also 42, that the This Morning star was set to replace him on I'm A Celebrity

Fans favourite: It comes months after the 42-year-old playfully teased Ant, also 42, that the This Morning star was set to replace him on I’m A Celebrity

Confirming to fans he was better than ever however, the famous Geordie assured: ‘I was always going to make it, come on.’

He then added excitedly: ‘I’m back my friend!’, before the pair sweetly hugged, to the applause of the production crew. 

Now fans are questioning if the poignant joke could turn into a reality, with Saturday Night Takeaway viewers calling on his close pal Holly to support Dec on air.

'No one was sure if you would make it or not': In the joke, Dec immediately opened the show by joking about his friend's much-anticipated return before they embraced 

'No one was sure if you would make it or not': In the joke, Dec immediately opened the show by joking about his friend's much-anticipated return before they embraced 

‘No one was sure if you would make it or not’: In the joke, Dec immediately opened the show by joking about his friend’s much-anticipated return before they embraced 

One wrote on Twitter: ‘Ant is human and to be human is to err. Hoping Ant is feeling the love and best wishes from us all. I do reckon Holly Willoughby would be a fab co-host contender!’

Another added: ‘Being a huge Ant and Dec fan I have found the last few days upsetting. I hope that Ant gets the help he so needs and Dec gets the support that he needs without his best friend by his side. 

‘Holly Willoughby would be the perfect candidate to present the show with him,’ while another said ‘@this morning when is Holly taking over from Ant? Holly and Dec, got a ring to it!!’

Stepping in his shoes? Fans are questioning if the poignant joke could turn into a reality, with Saturday Night Takeaway viewers calling on his close pal Holly, 37, to support Dec on air

Stepping in his shoes? Fans are questioning if the poignant joke could turn into a reality, with Saturday Night Takeaway viewers calling on his close pal Holly, 37, to support Dec on air

Stepping in his shoes? Fans are questioning if the poignant joke could turn into a reality, with Saturday Night Takeaway viewers calling on his close pal Holly, 37, to support Dec on air

However, not everyone seemed thrilled with the idea of the television personality stepping into Ant’s shoes, while others called on Stephen Mulhern to co-host.

One wrote: ‘No, no, no! Sorry, but people’s opinion on Holly Willougby covering for Ant for the 2 shows, I can’t see it working. Dec either goes it alone or Mulhern steps in. If you watch BGMT you’ll see how well he works with Ant and Dec. They love him.’

Another typed: ‘I really hope Stephen Mulhern replaces Ant on BGT and Saturday Night Takeaway rather than Holly Willoughby.’

 Fans calling for some of the biggest names in TV to support Dec in his presenting duties comes after Ant McPartlin’s drink driving charge and subsequent decision to return to rehab.

Mixed response: However, not everyone seemed thrilled with the idea of the television personality stepping into Ant's shoes, while others called on Stephen Mulhern to co-host

Mixed response: However, not everyone seemed thrilled with the idea of the television personality stepping into Ant's shoes, while others called on Stephen Mulhern to co-host

Mixed response: However, not everyone seemed thrilled with the idea of the television personality stepping into Ant’s shoes, while others called on Stephen Mulhern to co-host

'Perfect candidate':  One wrote on Twitter: 'I do reckon Holly Willoughby would be a fab co-host contender!' (pictured together in 2013) 

'Perfect candidate':  One wrote on Twitter: 'I do reckon Holly Willoughby would be a fab co-host contender!' (pictured together in 2013) 

‘Perfect candidate’:  One wrote on Twitter: ‘I do reckon Holly Willoughby would be a fab co-host contender!’ (pictured together in 2013) 

Dec will take the reigns on Saturday 31 March for the first of the final two episodes of this series, with him confirming the news on Twitter on Wednesday. 

He said in a statement released after meeting with ITV bosses: ‘Whilst I never thought I’d be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we’ve decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead.

‘We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that. Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series’. 

Dec’s difficult decision came after Ant crashed his car in Richmond last Sunday and was later charged with drink-driving. 

Takeaway co-stars Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffatt will appear as usual. 

Dec posted this emotional statement on Twitter on Wednesday, confirming he will press ahead and host the last two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway alone

Dec posted this emotional statement on Twitter on Wednesday, confirming he will press ahead and host the last two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway alone

Dec posted this emotional statement on Twitter on Wednesday, confirming he will press ahead and host the last two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway alone

An ITV spokesman added: ‘We can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return to ITV on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later.’

In their 2010 autobiography, Ooh! What A Lovely Pair, Dec wrote he couldn’t do it without his screen partner.

He said: ‘We made an agreement – whatever happened, we’d be mates forever, and neither one of us would ever be on our own out there.

‘If it all ended tomorrow, we’d still speak every day, we’d still see each other all the time and we’d still be best mates. And that’s something we’re both very proud of.’ 

Going their own ways: Following Ant McPartlin's drink driving charge and subsequent decision to return to rehab, his co-host Dec will take the reigns on Saturday 31 March

Going their own ways: Following Ant McPartlin's drink driving charge and subsequent decision to return to rehab, his co-host Dec will take the reigns on Saturday 31 March

Going their own ways: Following Ant McPartlin’s drink driving charge and subsequent decision to return to rehab, his co-host Dec will take the reigns on Saturday 31 March





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