Simon Cowell says Ant McPartlin will "always" be welcome on 'Britain's Got Talent.
Ant is taking the rest of the year off from TV commitments, after he spent time in rehab and was fined £86,000 for drink-driving earlier this year and Simon said he will be happy to have him back on the show next year once he is ready to return.
He told The Sun: "That is what I always thought would happen, so I am happy to hear that. He is welcome back and we have missed him. But he has done the right thing by taking some time off, and he will come back fresh and will enjoy it."
And Simon revealed he did not speak to Ant while he was in rehab but sent messages of support via his presenting partner Declan Donnelly. 42.
He said: "We didn't speak while he was in rehab but we got messages through Dec - as we have always done - but I didn't want to impose on his privacy.
"But we have always made it clear what our relationship is, we help each other. We are friends and he is welcome back anytime."
Meanwhile, it was recently revealed that Holly Willoughby will co-host 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!' with Dec this year, while Ant continues to recover.
She said in a statement: "I couldn't be more excited to have been asked to stand alongside Dec for the next jungle adventure. I love Ant and want to send him my best wishes and support for a continued recovery.
"These are big shoes, not to fill, but just to keep warm for a little bit. Honestly, I'm a huge fan of 'I'm a Celebrity' and actually feel like I've won a competition to go and hang out on my favourite show. When is it a good time to tell Dec I'm scared of everything that moves."
Dec added: He said: "I am hugely grateful to Holly for agreeing to accompany me to Australia this year.
"She was at the top of my list and I'm thrilled she said yes. It will be a different kind of series but we will try our best to ensure it is no less fun and eventful for our loyal viewers.
"I am also pleased to hear Holly is scared of everything. I am almost stupidly excited at the thought of watching her during the eating trials."