I'm not that great at goodbyes, especially when I'm hooked on a reality shows that inevitably has to come to an end. First it was Love Island, and now it's I'm A Celebrity. There was one last chance to say farewell to this year's campmates on Wednesday night (Dec. 21) thanks to the Coming Out special, but that hasn't stopped me already wondering who could enter the jungle next year. And I'm not the only one, as it looks like Declan Donnelly wants Holly Willoughby to be an I'm A Celeb contestant rather than his co-host in 2019. Please let this happen.
After a cute declaration of thanks to Willoughby for being a superb stand-in for Ant McPartlin, Donnelly had a little present up his sleeves in the form of a shirt “for next year,” as Dec told her. Yep, that’s right, he only went and gave her an actual contestant shirt, insinuated that she would be a 2019 contestant, and also added that he knew who he would be voting for if that were the case. Am I dreaming?
Thankfully no, because I’m totally stanning this already. In all honesty though, Willoughby was a campmate this year in my eyes; obviously in spirit since, y’know, she was co-presenting with Donnelly. But I totally was not expecting her hilarious reactions to the trials as though she was in there with the celebs, and her reactions to jungle life as a whole.
So to see Willoughby as a contestant next year would be absolutely damn perfect. And viewers have already begun speculating as to whether this shirt was actual confirmation that this indeed could be happening for the following series, or if it was just an amazing gift courtesy of Donnelly. I reached out to ITV for comment, but have yet to receive a reply.
And while I believe that is was probably more the latter, I have a sneaking suspicion that Willoughby will be involved in the 20th series in some capacity.
And why do I think that? It might have something to do with some reports. A source told The Daily Star, "producers are said to be 'desperate' for [Willoughby] to front another series even if Ant returns in 2019."
"Holly has done a great job this series," the source continued. "All the execs have absolutely loved having her on the show. Many presenters would have crumbled under the pressure of joining such a big show, but Holly stepped up to the plate." True that.
The source added: "The original plan was for Holly to stand in while Ant was off and then hand the baton back. But she's been such a success that producers are now keen to keep her whatever happens.
"They're looking into ways of making things work if they had Ant, Dec and Holly." Could you think of anything more perfect that Willoughby working with Donnelly and McPartlin for three weeks? The hilarity would most definitely abound, that's for sure.