stephen mulhern britain's got talent launch

Ant McPartlin: Stephen Mulhern has some bad news for fans

Stephen has opened up about Ant's recovery in a new interview

Gemma Strong

Ant McPartlin looks set to miss this year's series of I'm A Celebrity. In a new interview with Best magazine, Stephen Mulhern opened up about his friend's ongoing treatment following his arrest for drink driving and suggested that Ant could remain out of the spotlight until next year. He said: "Fingers crossed, Ant will get the treatment he needs and be back to his old self for next year. But he does need the rest and to be left alone, and given the time to recover." It would mean that Ant would be absent from I'm A Celebrity for the first time ever – leaving co-host Declan Donnelly to potentially front the show on his own.

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Ant McPartlin looks set to miss the 2018 series of I'm A Celebrity

However, a source told the Mirror that "no-one has any idea" how long Ant will be off. The insider added: "He'll be off for as long as it takes him to get better. Work is not even being discussed with him. The only priority is him getting better." ITV recently confirmed that Dec will be hosting the live Britain's Got Talent shows by himself – although Ant has appeared in the audition episodes, filmed in January prior to his arrest.

STORY: Carl Fogarty hits out at Ant McPartlin following drink driving charge: 'Grow up'

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Earlier this month, Ant appeared in court where he pled guilty to one count of drink driving. He received a record-breaking £86,000 fine and was banned from driving for 20 months. Immediately after the hearing, Ant emerged from court to give a brief statement. He said: "I just want to say that I'm truly sorry. Higher standards are expected of me. I expect them of myself. I let myself down. I let a lot of people down and for that I am truly sorry." He added: "I would like to apologise to everybody involved in the crash and I am just thankful that nobody was seriously hurt in this."

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