Emotional Ant McPartlin returns to role on Britain's Got Talent
TV presenter Ant McPartlin last night made an emotional return to Britain's Got Talent as the new series of the ITV show got underway.
The 43-year-old star took a step back from his work commitments following his arrest for drink-driving in March last year, and his presenting partner, Declan Donnelly, hosted the live Britain's Got Talent shows alone.
However, the duo are back together in the 13th series of the talent show, which started last night.
He was welcomed back on stage with a huge hug from his best pal, Dec.
In scenes cut from last night's show, Dec told crowds at The London Palladium: "The judges are back, the buzzers are back… and someone else is back. My co-host for this series, would you please welcome - Mr Ant McPartlin!"
As Ant received a massive hug, he cried: "Oh god, I'm really, really emotional right now. I've missed you all. As for you, I've missed you.
"What a lovely welcome. What a great show to come back to. I'm thrilled, I'm over the moon. Shall we crack on before I cry?"
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He also welled up after a child contestant told him that she missed him during his brief hiatus from TV.
After performing with her classmates, a little girl in a green spotted dress jumped into McPartlin's arms and told him: "I missed you."
This year's judging panel once again comprises David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell, who have said they are thrilled to have McPartlin back.
"It's been like getting the family back together, it just feels normal," Alesha Dixon said.
Donnelly and McPartlin have said that even after so many series, they were still surprised by some of the auditions.