I'm a Celebrity 2017 filming delayed as Ant McPartlin recovers from stint in rehab

Ant and Dec in the jungleITV

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here producers have delayed filming a promotional shoot for the reality TV show's new series as host Ant McPartlin continues to recover from his recent stint in rehab for a painkiller addiction.

According to The Sun, the show's producers had hired a huge set at London's Pinewood Studios for McPartlin and co-host Dec Donnelly to film a big budget promo for the show's 17th series, but it has now been postponed.

"He's gone to get away from the spotlight," a source told the paper. "He's in recovery and it's important he has time and space. [McPartlin's Agent] Paul's gone to provide support. He is one of his closest friends."

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Another insider said: "It would have been the first day filming but with Ant away, there is no way they could get started. He's gone to get away from the spotlight. He's in recovery and it's important he has time and space."

ITV bosses confirmed earlier this year that McPartlin would return to the jungle alongside Donnelly in the new series. ITV boss Kevin Lygo told Radio Times: "Ant is doing really well and we're expecting him to return to I'm A Celebrity, so we won't be resting it."

The popular British TV personality developed an addiction to painkillers following botched surgery on his knee in 2015 and another operation this past June. He spent eight weeks at a rehab clinic in the UK after wife Lisa pleaded with him to seek help.

In August McPartlin told The Sun on Sunday: "I was at the point where anything - prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs - I would take. And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, 'You could have killed yourself'."

I'm a Celeb crew members are due to fly out to New South Wales shortly to prepare for the new series, due to start in November.

Last year's series was one of the best in recent years, and was won by Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt. This year Vanessa White, Charlotte Crosby, Gemma Collins and Craig Charles are among the names rumoured to be taking part.

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