Dec to 'address Ant's absence' in Saturday Night Takeaway opening

Apr 02, 2018, 00:45
Dec to 'address Ant's absence' in Saturday Night Takeaway opening

Declan Donnelly hosted Saturday Night Takeaway solo for the very first time this weekend, thanks to his co-presenter Ant McPartlin's decision to seek treatment following his arrest and charge for drink driving.

Donnelly (42) will present the show alone for the first time in the show's history tonight.

Throughout the programme Dec was supported by Davina McCall, Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern, with the star addressing Ant's absence at the beginning of the show.

He said: "Whilst I never thought I'd be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we've decided that the remaining two shows of this series ofSaturday Night Takeaway will go ahead".

"We've got a jam packed show this evening and I have twice the amount of work to do". The shift in line-up was alluded to a number of times during the broadcast, thanks in large part to Merchant who offered to exit his lofty recording booth and join Dec in front of the audience: "I can't help but notice a little bit of space on the stage there". Of course Ant was missed and wish him well soon... but you done great... perhaps @ThisisDavina could stand in, it could be Dav & Dec #dav&dec'.

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Social media was awash with supportive comments from viewers at home who were touched by Dec's "emotional" appearance without his partner - although eagle-eyed fans did notice he was "nervous". His wife, Ali Astall, also paid tribute to her husband in a rare tweet, writing: "I'm incredibly proud of my husband".

Dec confirmed in a statement posted to Twitter on March 21 that he would be hosting this week's show and would also be fulfilling the show's promise to take deserving viewers to Universal Studios in Florida during the Place on the Plane segment for the final show of the series.

McPartlin, 42, was charged with drink-driving after a vehicle crash earlier this month.

Producers are still deciding whether Dec speak about Ant or ignore the matter entirely.

He is due to appear at Wimbledon magistrates court on 4 April.

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