We knew that Ant’s absence from I’m A Celebrity would mean that a high-profile celebrity would be filling in for him and ITV certainly didn’t disappoint when they chose Holly Willoughby to take his place. Of course, the decision made by bosses came at a huge cost. You just won’t believe how much Holly is being paid…
According to insiders, her salary has pretty much doubled since she accepted the presenting role alongside Declan Donnelly, but over the past week, she’s certainly proven her ability to work on almost any project thrown at her. She’s been put through her paces with having to watch some of the gruesome and spine-tingling bushtucker trials, despite being a self-confessed wimp when it came to bugs or anything remotely gross.
The star already earns around £2.5 million per year for her current projects, however, her last-minute stint on the jungle has certainly bumped up that figure.
Dec claimed Ant is ‘better than Holly’ at the job…
While Dec has been getting used to his new co-presenter over the past few weeks, he did admit that Ant was ‘better’ than Holly at the live trials.
He claimed that she was perhaps far too squeamish for trials that were being broadcast across the nation live on air, as she hadn’t coped very well with previous trials.
Discussing Noel’s attempt last week, Dec said on Extra Camp: “I think he did so well as well, he’s one of the biggest characters in there and they tend to get voted for the trials.”
Holly added: “Normally in that challenge, you need somebody who’s going to lead it and one who’s going to listen and be guided. I think Noel is going to try and take the lead though.”
Dec didn’t fail to mention that going through with the live trials just wasn’t going to be the same without Ant and that himself and Holly were finding the thought quite ‘nerve-wracking’.
Dec said: “It’s nervewracking for us because it’s just so chaotic.”, while Holly added: “I mean, I’m in safe hands, you’re going to lead the way?”.
Awkwardly, Dec replied that this wasn’t going to be the case, as Ant was the one who usually took control.
Looking confused, he said: “Normally Ant leads the way…No it will be alright, I think we’ve kind of been through it and we know what we’re doing.”
So, how much is Holly being paid?
According to the Daily Mail, Holly’s presenting stint (for just a couple of weeks – let’s add!) has doubled her salary to an impressive £5 million.
A source told the newspaper said: “ITV want to make it clear that she is theirs and they are prepared to pay for it. She has got herself in a place where she can ask for what she wants and ITV will pay her what she is worth. Negotiations on a new contract will start imminently.”
Ant is believed to have earned less than a quarter of Holly’s asking fee. Over three weeks of presenting, there are claims he earnt around £23,000 per day, therefore, £500,000 throughout the series.
Holly’s stint on the show has, however, bumped viewing figures right up in comparison to 2017 and bosses of the show had ‘popped open the champagne’ in celebration.
Last year, the first show of the series raked in 10.2 million, while this year saw a huge 11.9 million tune in.
Dec slams Holly for breaking crucial I’m A Celebrity ‘rule’
Last night, Holly was pretty much told off by Dec for breaking a ‘golden rule’ on the show.
During the trial between Nick and Noel, Holly went in for a smooch on the cheek, to which Dec asked in confusion: “Are you canoodling with the campmates?”
Holly jokingly replied: “I think I did. It’s a bit official, a handshake.”
Of course, we’ve never seen Ant or Dec go in for a kiss with any of the females over the years, so Holly’s act of physical contact came as a bit of a shock for Dec.
“I don’t think that’s allowed” Dec informed her. “Keep your distance Holly Willoughby, keep your distance.”
Embarrassed, Holly responded: “Sorry, sorry I’ve broken a golden rule.”
Fans compare this year’s bushtucker trials to ‘torture’
While the main aspect of the show is to get entertainment value out of witnessing celebrities encounter some pretty awful bushtucker trials, many fans have claimed that year’s series have gone ‘too far’, while some have even branded them as ‘torturous’.
Last night, comedy actress Emily Atack and Hollyoaks star Malique Thompson-Dwyer were expected to sing with their mouths forced open. If that wasn’t bad enough, they were being bitten by ants at the same time as they stood in an X-shaped structure.
Poor Emily’s singing was interrupted by screams and viewers at home were convinced she was deeply upset.
“I love this show so much but I felt so bad for Emily she looked liked she was being tortured, this is going too far” one concerned social media user wrote.
“Is this #imacelebrity or the opening scene from a Saw film?” another added.
“I love how every November the whole of the British public tunes in to watch a bunch of people being basically tortured I love it
Although many weren’t too impressed by the nature of the trials, there were some viewers who saw the funny side:
“That was the funniest thing I have ever seen …. oh Emily!” one wrote.
Another chipped in: “This is the funniest trial so far I’m actually dying watching their facial expressions!