As weird as it has been watching This Morning sans Holly Willoughby this past week, I think it's safe to say that she has made herself at home in the Australian jungle alongside Declan Donnelly. While she may not be a fan of the creepy crawlies that the outback has to offer (I mean, can you blame her?), she has certainly established herself as an amazing co-host for the reality show. But how much is Holly Willoughby paid for I'm A Celebrity, and does it equal the amount of her co-host?
Well, it looks like the presenter has been given a substantial raise to present the drama of jungle life alongside Donnelly. According to the Mail on Sunday, Willoughby's earnings are rumoured to have doubled from £2.5 million from her roles on This Morning and Celebrity Juice to £5 million. While there isn't an exact figure speculated, the newspaper have reported that Willoughby is "apparently being paid a seven-figure bonus for replacing Ant [McPartlin]."
"ITV want to make it clear that she is theirs and they are prepared to pay her for it," a source told the Mail on Sunday. "With the exception of Ant and Dec, Holly is their most popular and well-known presenter — and they see her as their main appeal to the female market."
I reached out to the show and Willoughby's representative for further clarification. While I have yet to receive comment from Willoughby's side, a rep for the show tells me that they wouldn't comment on artist contracts, which is totally understandable.
I just hope that she is receiving equal pay, which was actually brought up before she headed into the jungle on This Morning by none other than Keith Lemon. While discussing how many shows she'll be missing on both This Morning and Celebrity Juice, Lemon asked, "Are you getting paid the same Dec, equal rights and stuff?" To which Willoughby replied, "I should hope so!"
Lemon also tried to weasel the exact amount of her salary out of her — which she obviously didn't reveal — and jokingly called her greedy for all the TV she's doing, but made sure to add that she's the perfect person for the job. Saved yourself there, Lemon.
And he wasn't wrong. Since filling in McPartlin's role alongside Donnelly, viewing figures have marginally increased according to Hello magazine. The launch of this year's I'm A Celeb "hit a peak of 11.9 million viewers, making it the show's highest rating launch in the past five years." If that wasn't enough, it also became "the biggest overnight rating of 2018 outside of World Cup matches." It's not clear whether this rise in viewership was down to the addition of Willoughby or the celeb line-up in general, but it's impressive nonetheless.
Personally, I'd put it down to Willoughby. From her chemistry with Donnelly to her fangirling during certain aspects of the trials, she's already becoming a fan favourite on social media thanks to her relatability.
As weird as it may be to see Dec without Ant, and Willoughby without Schofield, I dare to say it, but I that this season of I'm A Celeb is turning out to be one of the best in the series run.