The presenter, who checked into a clinic after confessing to addictions to alcohol and prescription drugs last month, has been making substantial progress.
He has been on walks to the park and shops after four weeks staying at the clinic and is looking forward to a reunion with wife Lisa Armstrong, 36, and long term show-business partner Dec, 41.
A source said: “Ant has had no visitors – not even Lisa or Dec. It was judged best that he battled through on his own. It has been very tough for him, but he really wants to get better and promised to do whatever it takes. There is still a way to go, but he is making real progress.”
Ant, 41, became hooked on the painkiller tramadol after taking it to cope with pain from knee surgery.
Always a keen social drinker, he also began to abuse alcohol when alone at home.
The source added: “Lisa is desperate to see Ant and she is expected to visit him shortly. Dec will also be seeing him soon. It’s bound to be emotional but Ant knows that Dec will be there for him every step of the way.”
ITV bosses have said Ant can take as much time as he needs and were he not to recover in time their two options would have been to draft in new presenters or put the show on hold for a year.
But now they are said to be confident that the Geordie pair will return in time for the new show in November.
There were rumours earlier this month that This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby, 36, could star alongside Dec in the jungle this year.
But Dec is said to have told friends that his bond with Ant is so strong, he would never host I’m A Celebrity… without him.
A friend said: “Dec wouldn’t work on screen without Ant on any major show and he has said the last thing he would do is go to Australia without him. To say he would consider working with Holly was ridiculous. He is a good friend of hers but he would not do that to Ant.”