Ant McPartlin left out of I'm A Celebrity group chat with Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby

Time out: McPartlin is looking after himself ( PA )

Ant McPartlin has been left out of this year’s I’m A Celebrity group chat, according to Phillip Schofield.

The TV presenter said he is in a group with McPartlin’s work partner Declan Donelly and co-host Holly Willoughby.

Schofield said McPartlin had been kept out of the group because he is busy “concentrating on himself”, after he announced plans to take a break from screens until 2019 following a drink-driving charge and a stint in rehab.

Schofield told the Sun: “I think Ant is concentrating on himself and so, no, we’re all letting him get well.

Group chit-chat: McPartlin is taking some time out (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

“It’s me, Dec and Holly. I started it when they went out. We had a couple of chats before that.

"I didn't say anything the day of her first show, or the lead up to her first show, or during her first show as the last thing you want to do is be distracted.”

Schofield added that he knew Willoughby was “comfortable” hosting the show when he started receiving messages from her during the adverts.

He said: "Both Ant and Dec and myself have also got a WhatsApp group for when they were out there. They’re very much like me. You can text or WhatsApp someone during a commercial break or long VT.

"It took Holly a day or two to settle in. I got the first WhatsApp from her on the group during a commercial break and thought 'that’s it, she’s comfortable'."

The show marks its first year without McPartlin hosting alongside Donnelly.

However, the show has proved a success with Willoughby pulling in average of over 12 million viewers.

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! trailer

New consolidated figures from the first week of the series, which began on November 18, show that the series is averaging a huge 12.6 million, which is an audience share of 47 per cent, around 1.8million up on last year.

The figures are the highest the jungle reality show has ever attracted over its 18 series.

More about: | Ant McPartlin | Declan Donnelly | Phillip Schofield | Holly Willoughby | im a celebrity