The blonde beauty was drafted in earlier this year to replace troubled Ant McPartlin after he checked into rehab for the second time.
After Dec hosted Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain’s Got Talent solo, Holly jetted out to Australia to join him on the winter ITV staple.
Chatting about the This Morning babe, Joel said: “Holly did so well – she was so brilliant.
“She exceeded everyone’s expectations. To use this series’ catchphrase, she smashed it.”
Keen not to sound like he was knocking Dec’s former co-star, Joel added: “We all love Ant so much and missed him a lot but Holly did so great – it was a tough thing to have to do.
“I know her but don’t know her well enough to be able to say how proud I am of her but – you know what, yeah, I’m proud of her.”
Teasing that the door is open for Holly to return next year, the comedian added to Mail Online: “The producers of the show are just so good, they know what they’re doing. I just stay out of it.
“I don’t know what’ll happen and they wouldn’t tell me anyway as if someone tells me a secret I just tend to give it away immediately.”
After a successful stint in the I’m A Celeb jungle in 2016, Joel currently co-hosts I’m A Celeb… spin-off show Extra Camp alongside Scarlett Moffatt and Joe Swash.
Unlike Holly who has now taken a break from all work commitments until the new year, when he returns to the UK later this week Joel will host a live-streamed pub quiz on behalf of Kopperberg.
Teaming up with the brands alcohol-free line, Joel hopes to tackle the stigma around not drinking booze over the festive season.
As well as four quiz rounds, fans can bag themselves a host of prizes including an all-expenses paid trip to the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
Check out Kopparberg UK’s Facebook & Twitter pages for the pub quiz live streamed from 6.30pm on December 13.