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19th Nov 2018

A forensic examination of Dec and Holly’s compatibility as co-presenters

They seem to be getting along just fine, but what is their body language saying?

Ciara Knight

Dec (the halls with boughs of) Holly

Step aside Eamonn and Ruth, move out of the way Mel and Sue, shove over Richard and Judy. There’s a new presenting duo in town and their names are Dec and Holly.

The I’m A Celeb jungle has a new pair of rapscallions keeping things ticking over and this can mean but one thing – the media is going to figure out a way to allude to them either secretly being in love or secretly hating each other. Such fun!

But not here. Not today. This is a purely talent-based forensic analysis. We need to figure out whether Dec and Holly are a compatible presenting duo. No more, no less. Just one question, does the shoe fit?

Based on last night’s debut, we should have enough data to work with. Amidst a sea of uncertainty surrounding the economic fate of this great nation, we must know one vital thing to guarantee the survival of Britain – are Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby compatible as a presenting duo?

Height Difference

Declan Donnelly is 5′ 6″ small. Holly Willoughby is 5′ 7″ tall. That is a difference, if I’m not mistaken, of 1 (one) inch. As seen in the image above, for the first segment of last night’s show, the pair stood slightly apart, with Declan closer to the camera. This was not a mistake, nor was it for aesthetic reasons. It doesn’t take a compatibility export to work out that if you apply the Father Ted cow principle to this scenario, Dec is aware that if is standing nearer to the lens, he will appear to be bigger than he actually is, while Holly is just further away.

Is Holly okay with this approach? Is she even aware of what kind of stunt Dec is trying to pull? Her smile suggests that she’s in on the joke, but the overall demeanour is still a bit smug. But why? To answer this, we need to look at the bigger picture. Literally.

Ah, that explains it. Holly Willoughby is wearing a pair of boots with a slight heel. She’s added, at a glance, another half an inch to her advantage over Dec. Was this decision borne out of fashion or is there a deeper narrative at play? Is Holly trying to assert dominance over Dec in a way that she thinks will result in audiences warming to her since she seems tall and tall people are usually nice? Or are we looking into this way too much? Best look into it in more excruciating detail just to be sure.

Hand Placement

Dec, seen here on the right, has got his hands clasped together. As we all know, this is the internationally recognised symbol for being ready to leave. Think about the last time you visited a friend and they tried to keep you at their house for a long time. They were sharing problems, trying to pin you down to make future plans, offering tea and biscuits, it was excruciating from start to finish. Eventually, 1.5 hours into the traumatic event, you stood up, clapped your hands together and kept them clutched exactly as Dec is doing. You then said “Right, I’ve got to hit the road” and managed to escape. That is what Dec is subconsciously thinking in this moment. He would very much like to hit the road.

Meanwhile, Holly is more apologetic. She’s using one hand to hold the tips of her fingers, which as we all know is the internationally recognised symbol for guilt. Think back to when you were younger. A packet of biscuits had been opened and partially consumed. Your Mum bellowed your entire name (first, middle and last) up the stairs and you instantly knew that the jig was up. Heroically, you trudged downstairs for a thorough bollocking, fiddling with your hands in the same manner as Holly. So what can we take away from this? Dec wants to go home and Holly has pinched the several digestives from the packet without permission. Confusing data, I know. Perhaps we need to go deeper.

Holly, seen above on the left, has got her hands spaced shoulder width apart, flat on the table. In the exact opposite manner, Declan has placed his left hand upon his right. What does this represent? Well, lest it even needs pointing out, the pair are subconsciously taking part in a metaphorical gameshow. Holly doesn’t know the answer to the trivia question, but Dec has pressed the buzzer because he’s confident in his ability to get it right. How does this relate back to their presenting compatibility? Is this all complete nonsense, much like the practice of analysing body language? Yes. But let’s keep going because it’s every bit as credible as the professionals’ efforts. Basically, it seems like Dec knows what he’s doing, and Holly doesn’t, not yet anyway. It’s her first day of a new job. Everything adds up.

Appetite For Banter

Declan is seen pointing to something in the sky here, demanding Holly’s attention be placed towards it. But what’s up there? Their soaring careers? A blimp that says ‘Moyes out’? A strange bird that’s native to Australia but new to these two Brits? Or, is it their compatibility trajectory? Oh yes, they’re on the up. All TV presenters know each other, that is a fact that I cannot prove nor elaborate on. They just do. All famous people are friends, they hang out together in secret clubs and have salacious WhatsApp groups. Ergo, Dec and Holly have likely been friends for years. They’re engaging in some banter, a concept of which they both have appetites for.

But what about Phillip and Ant, the forgotten two. They’re sat at home, watching their cohosts carving out a palatable illusion of chemistry for audiences. Sure, publicly they’ve been supportive of their other halves embarking on a new adventure, but secretly, they must be livid. Perhaps that’s what Dec is pointing to – the invisible but very much brewing rage of Phillip Schofield and Anthony McPartlin. I need more evidence.

Wow, a behind-the-back touch. Has this ever been seen on British television screens before? Two presenters touching? Unlikely. Keep in mind that it’s barely gone 7am over in Australia, yet these ragamuffins are unable to contain their giddiness. Dec said something hilarious, did he, Holly? Couldn’t contain your laughter or arms? Either these two are masters of deception or their compatibility is off the charts. Schofield and McPartlin are in real trouble here. They better lawyer up, or more conveniently, pull together and set up their own wacky presenting duo team. There’s an undeniable connection happening before our eyes. Dec’s hands are signalling that he’s ready to hit the road again, but perhaps this time he’s inviting Holly with him.

Emotional Chemistry

As the old saying goes, a duo that laughs together frets together. Holly and Dec spent a large portion of last night’s show having a big old laugh at the celebrities’ expense, mocking their ineptitude for such rudimentary tasks as climbing extremely high steal beams to obtain some kind of flag contraption thing, also swimming out in snake-infested waters to retrieve bags containing basic tools to survive. Laugh it up, you two. Giggle at different intensities while still sharing the same level of amusement. Just beware that with every high, there also comes a low.

Damn, okay they’re also fairly in sync when it comes to feeling genuine concern for the celebrities’ wellbeing. This doesn’t even look scripted. The pair are both equally having a bit of a break in their witty back and forth to express legitimate worriment for their peers. This is unprecedented. I don’t even have any jokes prepared, nor can I pull some bullshit body language ideologies out of this one. They’re on the same wavelength. Shit. In setting out to disprove the ability to tap into peoples’ innermost feelings using something as subconscious as their body language, it appears that I have actually tapped into Dec and Holly’s undeniable physical and psychological compatibility as co-presenters. Shit.

I dunno, blinking?

Fuck it, why not? The final puzzle piece when it comes down to calculating a presenting duo’s compatibility is blinking. Surely, you would think that if the blink is in sync, the job’s a good’un? But that is a deeply flawed practice. Think about it logically, if both presenters blink at the same time, who’s going to be reading the autocue? No one.

The key to being an effective presenting pair is blinking one at a time, never in sync. While one of them moistens their eyeballs, the other continues to dry theirs out waiting for their turn and vice versa until the end of time.

Seen in the image above, without any conscious effort, Holly is speaking, which frees up Dec to have a quick blink. Once he’s finished blinking, he will then dish out a few lines, allowing Holly to catch up on her blinks that she’s been waiting to do.

In an unexpected turn of events, it transpired that these two are yin and yang. Two peas in a pod. Thick as thieves. It’s canon. This ship is sailing. Declan Donnelley and Holly Willoughby might just be the greatest presenting duo the world has ever seen. They’re unstoppable. After just one episode of I’m A Celeb, they’ve annihilated the competition. Body language analysis is real and it’s just put Phillip Schofield Ant McPartlin out of work. I am truly sorry for what I have done.

Images via ITV