Ant McPartlin is 'secretly writing I'm A Celeb jokes' for Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly
30 November 2018, 10:16 | Updated: 30 November 2018, 10:39
Holly and Dec have been leaving viewers in hysterics on I'm a Celeb - but have they been having a helping hand from a friend behind the scenes?
Ant McPartlin has been named as the secret writer of Holly Willoughby and Declan Donnelly's on-screen gags.
Even though Ant has been taking time out of the limelight following his drink-drive conviction in May, it's been claimed he still actively involved in scripting some of the jokes for his pals' live links.
Emma Jesson, an ITV weather presenter, took to Twitter to claim the production team have been consulting with Ant over jokes to get his seal of approval.
She wrote: "I am informed that Ant was consulted for scripted Holly & Dec links for @imacelebrity series 2018 #imacelebrity #ImACeleb @Ant_McPartlin @antanddec ... top move production team if this is the case, can see his hallmarks there."
Despite her claims, a representative for Ant denied the claims and refused to comment to The Sun when they were approached for comment.
It comes after Dec and Holly reportedly waited until he night before the first episode to see what "felt right" when addressing Ant's absence from the show, with sources claiming they rehearsed several different scripts.
A TV insider said: “The pressure was on in the opening scene to both introduce Holly and explain Ant’s absence from the series for the time in 16 years, but also keep it light and funny for the family show.
“Dec was sure to keep Ant in the loop on that particular link as he didn’t want to seem at all insensitive, but the discussions with the production team about the exact wording were taken right to the wire.
“Everyone felt the pressure was on to hit just the right note, without an uncomfortable situation coming across that way on-screen and several suggestions were scrapped along the way.
“Ultimately, what’s happened with Ant is really sad and serious, but the show must go on.”