TV Bosses Decide How Dec Will Tackle ‘Elephant In The Room’ On Saturday Night Takeaway


There are just some pairings which are comfortingly complimentary, enhancing each other while remaining in perfect sync.

I’m talking a brew and a biscuit, popcorn and an action movie and – of course – Ant and Dec. I admit, in my younger years I just assumed they were twins.

Since their Byker Grove origins, we have rarely seen the duo apart. Indeed, their identities often appear to merge into one cheeky entity.

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However, after Ant was arrested on suspicion of drink driving, 42-year-old Dec must fly solo as he presents tonight’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

I can’t be the only one struggling to imagine Dec stood all alone on that big blue stage; not as one half of a package but as an individual entertainer in his own right.

On Good Friday, Dec informed fans he was back in the studio preparing some Easter weekend telly treats:

Back in studio today preparing your #SaturdayNightTakeaway for tomorrow night. Have a great Good Friday! D x.

Fans were delighted and could not have been more supportive of this new, independent Dec. Or should that be Declan Donnelly nowadays? Who knows anything anymore…

One fan cheered:

Good luck Dec, you’ll smash it, everyone is behind you 100%

While a fellow Geordie enthused:

Good luck Dec xx everyone In Newcastle supporting ya… love ya as well u will smash it

In a statement, Dec spoke about the difficult decision to present without his best mate at his side:

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.

A source told how presenting pals Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern will be giving Dec a helping hand as he makes his first solo voyage to our TV screens.

Scarlett and Stephen will reportedly be taking up some of Ant’s Saturday Night Takeaway duties; including handing out places on the plane to Orlando, Florida.

The End of the Show Show will involve an ‘ensemble’ performance, with show regulars and guest songstress Paloma Faith accompanying Dec as the show reaches it’s conclusion.

Ant will reportedly still appear in pre-recorded segments. The show’s opening credits, featuring both the lads together, will be left untouched; meaning Ant will still be very much part of the show.

However, a source has informed The Sun how ITV bosses are in turmoil about how Dec will go about addressing the ‘elephant in the room’.

The source revealed Dec will have three choices when it comes to Saturday night.

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Firstly, he could apologise for Ant’s absence while making reference to the highly publicised drink-driving arrest.

Secondly, he could keep silent about the incident, while offering a supportive message to Ant as he recovers in rehab.

The third option would be to not mention Ant, while still referring to the fact he is presenting alone.

The source explained:

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.

This nerve-wracking solo exhibition will be broadcast Saturday 31 March, 7pm on ITV. Let’s all tune in and give Dec our support.

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