Belfast Telegraph

Declan Donnelly to host Saturday Night Takeaway solo - Ant back in rehab

Declan Donnelly will host Saturday Night Takeaway alone when the show returns on Saturday March 31, ITV has confirmed.

It follows his partner Ant McPartlin's return to rehab this week after he was involved in a collision in London on Sunday.

An ITV spokesman said: "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."

The variety programme was previously confirmed to not be airing this coming Saturday. ITV has changed the schedule and pulled forward an episode of The Voice UK to fill the slot.

Declan Donnelly wrote on his and McPartlin's Twitter account: "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."

McPartlin, 42, was involved in a collision with two other cars while he was driving his Mini in Richmond, west London, and was arrested at around 4pm on Sunday after failing a roadside breathalyser test.

He was later released after being taken to a south London police station for questioning and was "released under investigation", a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said.

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.

The TV star has now returned to rehab.

McPartlin’s publicist said in a statement: “Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments."

The incident marked the latest in a string of personal setbacks for the star, who first entered rehab last year after struggling with an addiction to painkillers following a knee operation in 2015.

In January, McPartlin confirmed that he and his wife Lisa were separating after 11 years of marriage.

At the National Television Awards a few days after the split, McPartlin referred to his “tough year” while picking up the presenting prize with Donnelly.

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