He has been showered with support ahead of his solo debut on Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend.
But Declan Donnelly looked understandably downcast as he headed home following a workout at the gym on Friday, amid reports he is currently having ‘crisis talks’ with ITV on whether he should broach the absence of co-host Ant McPartlin, following his drink-driving conviction and admission into rehab.
The 42-year-old TV host, famed for his sprightly demeanor, was uncharacteristically glum as he headed back to the home he shares with wife Ali Astall after a fitness session at his local gym.
Glum: Declan Donnelly looked downcast as he headed home from a gym session on Friday, amid reports he is currently having ‘crisis talks’ with ITV on whether he should broach the absence of co-host Ant McPartlin on this weekend’s Saturday Night Takeaway
Exiting his vehicle, fixed his eyes on the floor and made a beeline for his home, as he continues to deal with the drama surrounding his long-time friend and co-host, Ant.
It’s said the beloved I’m a Celebrity presenter has been in the throes of conversation with ITV about whether Ant should be spoken about on the upcoming episode of Saturday Night Takeaway, after the embattled presenter was charged with drink-driving.
Sources told The Mirror that Dec and ITV execs were ‘both aware of the elephant in the room’ with bosses feeling Ant’s absence could not be ignored.
Downbeat: The 42-year-old TV host, famed for his sprightly demeanor, was uncharacteristically glum as he headed back to the home he shares with wife Ali Astall
They said: ‘Takeaway is all about fun and laughter so they can’t dwell on bad news, but it will be odd if they don’t reference Ant and his issues.
‘Dec will want to pay tribute to his pal in some way, but getting the balance right is crucial. Fans will love to hear how Ant is getting on as well.’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for ITV and Declan Donnelly for comment.
Dec has been showered with support as he prepares to host Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway alone for the first time.
Difficult time: Exiting his vehicle, fixed his eyes on the floor and made a beeline for his home, as he continues to deal with the drama surrounding his long-time friend and co-host, Ant
Following Ant McPartlin’s drink driving charge and subsequent decision to return to rehab, his co-host Dec will take the reigns on Saturday 31 March for the first of the final two episodes of this series.
Whilst this will be the first time the pair have been seen apart on television, fans of the ITV show have been quick to send their support and well wishes ahead of Dec’s solo appearance.
Taking to Twitter, fans wrote: ‘Hi dec I’ll be rooting for u for the takeaway programme u will do ant proud sending huge hugs to you both….. Cmon ant speedy recovery xx@_Declandonnelly
‘I for one support Dec in any way i can, He is a great bloke who can do it all solo if he has to … go for it Dec, you got my vote buddy! ⚡️ ‘Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead without Ant”
‘Well done Dec…it takes a lot of strength to soldier on as half of a lifelong team & fulfill the promises of Saturday Night Takeaway…xxx’; ‘Very brave of you Dec but I’m sure the Saturday night takeaway family will be there with tons of love and support. I’ll be watching wishing you all the best xxx’