Declan Donnelly took to the stage by himself last weekend presenting Saturday Night Takeaway alone following Ant McPartlin’s arrest for drink-driving.
While he may not have mentioned Ant’s absence on air, it appears Dec gave an emotional speech on Saturday (March 31) when the cameras stopped rolling.
Addressing the studio audience and crew, a tearful Dec applauded fans for supporting him during the night earning a standing ovation from the crowd.
You can watch Dec’s solo outing here:
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As reported by The Sun, Dec admitted to the audience he was nervous presenting the hit show minus his co-host of 29 years Ant.
Minutes after filming had stopped, the 42-year-old told the crowd:
It’s been the weirdest, weirdest show. But I wanted to say a huge, huge thank you to lots of people here.
Most of all I just wanted to thank you guys. That 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… but you carried me all the way through the show.
I couldn’t have done it without you guys. Thank you. I think that’s it.
I’ve talked quite enough this evening — enough talking for two. Thank you so much. And we can all go to the bar.
With an incredible eight million people watching, it is no wonder Dec was nervous but he completely smashed it!
Fans were quick to take to Twitter to support him:
I have so much love and respect for Dec ☺️ I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for him but he’s doing SO well ❤️✨#SaturdayNightTakeaway
— Zabrina (@zabrina89x) March 31, 2018
dec is smashing it and i'm so proud it can't be easy doing such a big show without you're bestfriend #SaturdayNightTakeaway
— katie ♡ (@katielbuchan) March 31, 2018
Good on Dec for doing the show alone today! @antanddec A true professional
— Ryan Ledwith (@ledders14) March 31, 2018
— ??Charlie✨ (@charliehamster2) March 31, 2018
Saturday’s show was the last episode filmed at ITV’s London Studios before it is demolished after running for 46 years.
During the wrap party, Dec also paid tribute to the crew he has worked with the past years as well as Saturday nights.
To all of tonight’s guests for coming down and spending Saturday night here. Thank you to our amazing production team.
They carried me through the show. To all the crew and staff here at the London Studios, which has been our home, not just for tonight but for the last 20 years.
We are going to miss this place enormously. We will never find a home like this so thank you.
Goodnight, God bless, safe journey home. Happy Easter everybody.
Rather than properly address the elephant in the room, Dec just made an offhand joke which left the audience in giggles.
After Paloma Faith opened the show with a song, Dec welcomed everyone saying:
Welcome to your Saturday Night Takeaway.
Thank you for the warm welcome but we must get on.
I have twice the amount of work to do.
Nicely done Dec, nicely done indeed.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.