I’m A Celeb hosts Julia Morris and Robert Irwin on their surprise pairing

It’s an “unlikely pairing” – in their own words, and after months of speculation (and spoiler articles), it’s finally been confirmed: Robert Irwin will join Julia Morris as the new co-host of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! in 2024.

While in some ways, Irwin’s a perfect fit for the show – he continues former co-host Dr Chris Brown’s legacy as an animal expert – he’s also a surprise choice, given his 35-year age gap with his new co-host.

“I’ve become so powerful at the network I am now allowed to trade in for a younger model, and of course when you trade in, you always upgrade,” Morris joked as the new duo spoke to news.com.au about their pairing.

Seems Irwin – a TV veteran at just 19, who was nominated for a Best Newcomer Logie when he was just nine years old – absolutely aced his audition.

“I thought it’d be a very tricky race [to find a new co-host], but the second Robert walked through the door, there was no contest. Everybody in the room was spellbound,” Morris recalled of their first screen test as a duo.

“In one second, he turned around all our thoughts: ‘This’ll be very nerve wracking, let’s help this person through that, let’s do this gently …’ The second Robert walks on, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, he knows what he’s doing.’ Then everyone relaxed. Then once he really started, it became: ‘Oh my god, I think we just got another 10 years out of the series.’

And Morris promised fans would see a “different energy” between the pair than they’ve been used to seeing in the past nine seasons of I’m A Celeb. For a start: Probably a little bit less shameless flirting than she used to enjoy with Dr Chris.

“Robert is only just a whisper older than my eldest child, so I’ve really got my mummy protection pants on,” she said.

“But I don’t remember seeing the dynamic of a turning-56-year-old woman, standing beside a 20-year-old man, presenting a prime time show. He can help me with my zimmer frame when we get to, like, series 18. Robert will be on a carer’s wage as well.”

Robert said he and Morris were “forging a new path! It’s so unlikely but just could not work any better.”

Irwin, a fan of the show who has appeared on it with his family, conceded it was a big step, taking on his first primetime TV hosting gig aged just 19.

“I’m the first to say, this is something new for me, but that’s what makes it so exciting. Wildlife and conservation is my life, and I have a huge love of Africa. To be able to bring that experience and love for the wildlife over there is going to be great.”

News of Irwin joining I’m A Celeb was confirmed at today’s 10 Upfronts, along a host of other big announcements about what’s to come for the network.

Among them: The newly-rebooted Gladiators, coming early in 2024, and a new season of Australian Survivor – this one with a ‘Titans vs Rebels’ theme.

MasterChef, Hunted, and Amazing Race: Celebrity Edition are all returning, while Grant Denyer’s getting a new gig as the brand new host of Deal or No Deal.

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