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31st Mar 2018

Declan Donnelly Will Reportedly Share “Emotional Message” For Ant McPartlin On Tonight’s Saturday Night Takeaway

Megan Cassidy

Declan Donnelly will reportedly pay “emotional” tribute to pal Ant McPartlin on tonight’s Saturday Night Takeaway. 

Producers have been in talks all morning over how to address Ant’s absence from tonight’s program, according to The Daily Express.

A source told the paper: “Dec is very much the solo host tonight – it’s not going to be him and a sidekick. 

“We’ll all going to miss Ant, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but the show must go on.”

Ant and Dec have worked as co-hosts for ITV since 2001, with the pair previously making an on-air pledge that they would never work solo. 

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We’re waiting for you! D #ImACeleb

A post shared by Ant & Dec (@antanddecofficial) on

However, representatives for Ant confirmed that he would be taking time off “for the foreseeable future” to receive treatment for a drink and drug dependency. 

The 42-year-old was first admitted to rehab last June for an addiction to prescription painkillers following a knee operation. 

In January, he split from wife of 11 years Lisa Armstrong citing his addiction issues as the reason for the relationship’s breakdown. 

Earlier this week, Dec posted to Instagram: “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.

“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.”

Ahead of this morning’s summit at ITV, a TV source told The Sun: “Explaining Ant’s absence has been the hardest part of planning.

“The bosses are torn in regards to how they can hit the right tone.

“They want to be respectful to people involved in Ant’s car accident, while not bringing down the mood of the show.

“Takeaway is all about having fun and they fear a sombre start may seriously effect the quality of the output.”

Scarlett Mofatt and Stephen Mulhern are also expected to appear on tonight’s show, which will see winners selected to attend next week’s grand finale in Florida. 

Just last week, Dec announced that he and wife Ali Astall are expecting their first child. 

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