OF­FI­CIAL PA­PER ITV BOSSES HELL-BENT ON KEEP­ING RAT­INGS HIT HOLLY

Star to join dou­ble act

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ■ by ED GLEAVE TV Ed­i­tor ed­[email protected]­lystar.co.uk

JUN­GLE bosses want Holly Wil­loughby back next year, we can re­veal.

Pro­duc­ers are “des­per­ate” for her to front an­other se­ries even if Ant re­turns in 2019.

She has been a mas­sive hit with I’m A Celebrity view­ers and helped the show’s rat­ings hit an all-time high.

So even if it means Holly be­com­ing a trio with Ant and Dec, I’m A Celeb bosses want to find a way to make the for­mat work.

A show in­sider said: “Holly has done a great job this se­ries. All of 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.

“The top peo­ple at

ITV are now re­ally keen to get her back next year.”

Holly was drafted in to re­place trou­bled Ant McPartlin af­ter he put his

TV ca­reer on hold while he bat­tles his ad­dic­tion to painkillers and booze.

Our in­sider 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 are look­ing into ways of mak­ing things work if they have Ant, Dec and Holly.”

ITV have al­ready held meetings about a pos­si­ble re­turn for Holly.

And it is ex­pected they will make a big money of­fer as early as next March.

A TV source said: “It’s no sur­prise ITV are look­ing to get her back next year. She has been re­ally pop­u­lar with view­ers.

“It now de­pends on whether or not she wants to do an­other se­ries. Be­ing out in Aus­tralia for five weeks is a big com­mit­ment and she has her fam­ily to think about.

“She also has com­mit­ments at Morn­ing to con­sider.” I’m A Celebrity bosses feared split­ting up Ant and Dec would cause view­ing fig­ures to nose­dive. But with Holly on board they have in­creased by al­most two mil­lion view­ers. The first week av­er­aged an in­cred­i­ble 13.1m an episode – putting this se­ries on course to be the big­gest in the show’s his­tory.

Rat­ings for tonight’s fi­nal are ex­pected to be sky high.

An in­dus­try ex­pert said: “It’s highly pos­si­ble view­ing fig­ures will hit 15m. “This se­ries has had so many fan­tas­tic char­ac­ters and the view­ers just can’t get enough of them.” her This

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