The BGT presenter, who is good friends with Ant, revealed he will be back “next year”, as he opened up about his recovery.
Speaking to Best magazine, he said: “Fingers crossed, Ant will get the treatment he needs and be back to his old self for next year.
"But he does need the rest and to be left alone, and given the time to recover.”
If Stephen is correct this means Ant will not be able to join Dec presenting I’m A Celebrity, which usually takes place in December.
Last month The Sun revealed that Ant will be off the telly indefinitely following his drink-drive conviction, although no time span has been formally given.
Ant was fined £86,000 and banned from getting behind the wheel for 20 months after he admitted to drink-driving.
The 42-year-old checked into rehab following the incident, leaving his co-presenter of thirty years, Dec, to present the final two episodes of Saturday Night Take Away alone.
Ant had already filmed the audition segments for Britain’s Got Talent, but Dec will present the upcoming live shows alone.
Following the crash, a friend told The Sun: “It’s a real mess — it’s just a nightmare situation. He needs an extended break from professional work.
“But Ant can no longer hide from his problems.
“This is a straightforward case of him needing to go away and take as much time as possible.
"We don’t know what form his treatment will take or how long exactly he will be gone, but it is expected to be for the rest of this year.”
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