Belfast Telegraph

I couldn’t have done it without you: Dec in ’emotional audience thank you’

The star spoke after hosting Saturday Night Takeaway without Ant McPartlin for the first time.

Declan Donnelly praised the Saturday Night Takeaway audience for their support in an emotional speech after filming, it has been reported.

The host said they carried him “all the way through” as he flew solo without Ant McPartlin, his presenting partner of 29 years, for the first time on the show.

In comments reported by The Sun, Dec told the audience: “I couldn’t have done it without you guys.”

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Ant McPartlin

Despite his nerves, Saturday’s broadcast was labelled a success as Dec oversaw an almost seamless live 90-minute programme, with his only mishap dropping a carton of popcorn.

“It’s been the weirdest, weirdest show,” he reportedly said.

“(The) reception when I came down the stairs… I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

“I wasn’t sure how I was going to do or how you were going to react.”

Dec, 42, who recently confirmed he is going to be a father, will present next week’s final episode in Florida.

At a later wrap party for production staff he thanked the crew and the show’s guests, who included The Script, Davina McCall and comedian Stephen Merchant, for their support.

Ant stepped down from his presenting commitments when he was charged with drink-driving earlier this month.

Dec made several veiled references to the absence of his companion during the ITV show.

At one point he said following the news had been “unavoidable” in recent weeks, but did not explicitly mention why Ant was missing.

Earlier he had joked he had “twice the amount of work to do”, and at one point said: “I’ll have to do it myself, like everything else this week.”

He tweeted after the broadcast: “Thanks for all your lovely messages tonight, they are VERY much appreciated, I’m glad you enjoyed the show.

“I didn’t sleep an awful lot last night so I’m off to bed! Night y’all. D x”

His co-host was not completely absent from the programme. Ant appeared in the opening titles and also in the continuation of pre-recorded sketch Saturday Knight Takeaway which also starred Joanna Lumley in her regular role.

Ant, 42, stepped back from his TV commitments and returned to rehab after he was charged with drink-driving in March.

The arrest led to that weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Takeaway to be cancelled, while there has been speculation over the future of other shows presented by the duo.

Ant will appear in court on April 4.

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