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Holly Willoughby - 'I want Joan Collins on I'm A Celebrity!'

Holly and Dec main I'm a Celeb
(Image credit: ITV)

When I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here returns on Sunday night, Declan Donnelly has a new co-host in the shape of This Morning's Holly Willoughby. And it seems she's not looking forward to getting up close and personal with those jungle critters...

Holly Willoughby is stepping in to co-host this year's I'm A Celebrity – just don't mention the bugs!

The banter between presenting duo Ant & Dec is as much a part of I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! as all the snakes, rats and witchetty grubs.

But with Ant taking time out from hosting this year’s 18th series for personal reasons, Dec needs a new sidekick as the jungle show returns this week. And that job falls to This Morning presenter and all-round telly favourite, Holly Willoughby.

Holly Willoughby

Will Holly Willoughby be a hit on I'm A Celeb?

Anyone who’s seen ITV2’s riotous game show Celebrity Juice will know our Holly’s game for a laugh, which makes her the perfect person to host alongside Dec, as 10 brave new celebrities enter camp where, for the next three weeks, they must tackle Bushtucker Trials, critters… and each other!

Here Holly, 37, reveals what she's most dreading about the jungle and who her dream camper is...

What are you most looking forward to?

"I'm looking forward to seeing how the show works having been a fan for so long. To actually be there for real and see how the whole set up of camp works, I think will be really fun and exciting. Aside from the telly side of it, I'm also looking forward to taking the kids to Australia and just having that real outdoor living experience, going to the beach and saying goodbye to this cold weather!"

Former EastEnders actress Rita Simons, DIY SOS host Nick Knowles and football manager Harry Redknapp are among the famous faces heading into camp this year. Who would be your ideal campmate?

"Dame Joan Collins – she's so fabulous and wonderful and I picture her in Hollywood or London in some fabulous apartment, going to a spa and having gorgeous lunches and the jungle is such a different environment to that. But I think she'd be amazing as she's such a strong woman who’s survived Hollywood, so I think she'd be good in every way."

I'm a Celebrity Rita Simons

Former EastEnders star Rita Simons is one of the famous faces heading into camp

As a fan yourself, what do you like most about the show?

"I like seeing how the celebrities change, they all go in, like me, with a certain amount of fear but, by the end of it, they seem to just turn into these Jungle Warriors. At the start, nobody wants to do a Bushtucker Trial but towards the end they all seem to want to do one! I love watching that change in them as they start relishing all the things in the jungle."

What is your least favourite Bushtucker Trial?

"The eating one, I could never do it! I would come out with zero stars and let everyone down. I'd be useless during the eating trial – I don't even like it if someone eats with their mouth open!"

Are you really scared of creepy crawlies?

"YES! I'm absolutely terrified. If I look at a spider in a tank that's absolutely fine but if one comes out of a tank or is on a celebrity’s back after a Bushtucker Trial then I'm not going to like that. I think I’m going to have a problem with smells too as Dec keeps telling me that cockroaches really stink."

Have you been to Australia before?

"Yes. I did the whole travelling experience down the coastline from the Gold Coast to Sydney. I was backpacking and had an absolute ball. But this will be a very different experience to that!"

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, with Holly Willoughby and Dec hosting, starts on Sunday November 18 at 9pm on ITV.

Holly pic: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock