Following suggestions that he was preparing to take up to a year out of the spotlight, ITV bosses have confirmed that Ant Mcpartlin will be returning by the end of 2017 to present the upcoming series of ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here’.

The 41 year old presenter revealed earlier this year that he nearly died as he battled depression and struggled to overcome dependencies on alcohol and prescription drugs. He entered rehab back in June this year, having been addicted to super-strength painkillers for two years after a knee operation back in 2015.

When news of it came out, it cast doubt over whether the Geordie presenter would be able to front ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ in Australia in October alongside his colleague Declan Donnelly as they do every year.

Ant and DecAnt McPartlin (r) will be presenting 'I'm a Celebrity...' later this year

However, ITV boss Kevin Lygo told a panel at the Edinburgh International TV Festival this week: “Ant is doing really well and we are expecting him to return for ‘I’m a Celebrity…’.”

A few weeks ago, a source close to the situation told the Mirror that McPartlin and his friends were hopeful that he would recover in time to fulfil his duties.

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“With his commitment and new-found strength, those close to him believe he will be back on TV in November. It’s something he is working towards and focusing on,” the insider said.

Additionally, Lygo told the audience in Edinburgh that constantly looking for new ways to keep the channel’s big-hitters fresh – i.e. ‘I’m a Celebrity…’, ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ – was the central plank of ITV’s strategy for the coming years.

“We don't often talk about shows that have been on for a long time but they are vitally important to ITV and we have to put a lot resource and effort and energy into keeping these shows fresh and good,” he said. “There have been no new entertainment shows in last 10 years that have taken the world by storm.”

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