Declan Donnelly has revealed he will host the final two Saturday Night Takeaway shows alone as Ant McPartlin heads for a spell in rehab.
Dec, 42, today admitted ‘I never thought I’d be in this position’ as he is set to appear on a TV show without his best friend for the first time in their 20-year career.
Dec’s difficult decision came after Ant crashed his car in Richmond on Sunday and he met with police today to discuss a possible drink drive charge.
Takeaway co-stars Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffatt will appear as usual but it is not yet known if Dec will appear on stage alone.
He said in a statement released after meeting with ITV bosses today: ‘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 of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead.
Ant’s best friend Declan Donnelly was pictured leaving his home with his wife Ali Astall today as it was revealed he is to present Saturday Night Takeaway without him
Ant McPartlin arrived at Kingston Police Station as he faces a possible drink driving charge
Dec released a statement admitting he had been forced to break a promise to his best friend so he doesn’t let down viewers and people on the show
‘We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that.
‘Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series’.
An ITV spokesman added: ‘We can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return to ITV on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later.’
In their 2010 autobiography, Ooh! What A Lovely Pair, Dec wrote he couldn’t do it without his screen partner.
He said: ‘We made an agreement – whatever happened, we’d be mates forever, and neither one of us would ever be on our own out there.
‘If it all ended tomorrow, we’d still speak every day, we’d still see each other all the time and we’d still be best mates. And that’s something we’re both very proud of.’
Declan Donnelly has revealed he is to present Saturday Night Takeaway without his best friend Ant as he heads to rehab (both pictured today)
Dec (pictured with Ant, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on Saturday) admitted he never thought he’d have to go it alone
Beleaguered television star Ant is pictured today for the first time since his drink-driving arrest, arriving at a police station in London.
The 42-year-old, who friends say has been hit ‘hard’ by his impending £60million divorce from his wife of 11 years Lisa Armstrong, left his £1.6million rented property where he has been in lockdown since Sunday.
His co-host Declan Donnelly was seen strolling through the capital with his wife Ali Astall today, after he said he was ‘devastated’ about his embattled friend’s arrest and shunned the Royal Television Awards on Tuesday night.
But he took to Twitter this afternoon and posted an emotionally-charged statement in which he confirmed he would press ahead and present the last two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway – which has been cancelled this Saturday – alone, on March 31.
Ant’s appearance comes as it was revealed his £26,000 John Cooper black Mini was searched for drugs after he was involved in a crash with two other cars in Richmond, south west London, on Sunday.
While no substances were found, the presenter failed a breathalyser test at the scene of the crash and was arrested.
Police previously confirmed that a number of individuals were treated at the scene for minor injuries, and a child passenger from one of the cars was taken to hospital to be checked as a precaution.
It marked the latest in a string of personal setbacks for the star, whose admission to rehab last year was followed, several months later, by the announcement that his marriage of 11 years to his wife Lisa had ended.
The TV presenter, 42, is seen appearing dazed as he climbs out of his £26,000 John Cooper, which smashed into two other cars and injured a three-year-old girl
This map shows how Ant’s crash unfolded after he lost control of his car in Richmond, London and collided with two other vehicles