Declan Donelly presented the finale of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and while the show went down well with its viewers his off-air message to presenting partner Ant McPartlin didn’t go down particularly well.
The question of whether Ant or Dec could host a show without one or the other has always been a curious one, and while Dec was able to pull it off last night it was under the most unfortunate circumstances.
However in the world of show business ‘the show must go on’ and it most certainly did as Donelly presented the show alongside Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern live from Orlando, Florida.
[ooyala player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ width=”undefined” height=”undefined” pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l” code=”hhNjZ5ZTE6OzI3olrusAbkhRNACPJRRf”]
It was an emotional final episode as Dec’s other half, Ant, is currently in rehab, but despite his absence it still went down well with audiences. Users on Twitter praised the three for ‘a fantastic show’ and doing ‘an amazing job’.
What a fantastic show, Dec you were amazing, you should be so proud of yourself. #SaturdayNightTakeaway
— Karen Smalley (@ksmalley40) April 8, 2018
Catching up on #SaturdayNightTakeaway – such a good finale ? Dec and the team have done an amazing job!!
— Emma Thompson (@emmathompy) April 8, 2018
Unfortunately, there was a major hiccup as soon as the cameras went off the air. As Dec was thanking his audience he told the crowd even though it had ‘been a fun series. It’s been tinged with sadness’, a reference to his absent co-host and best friend.
It was in this moment an audience member shouted out ‘We miss Ant’ and Dec responded ‘Yes, we do. Give a round of applause to Ant who’s back home’. His shout out/tribute to his friend didn’t go unnoticed and soon caught wind on social media who criticised him for applauding Ant despite his recent drinking driving incident.
— Phil Graves (@philthygraves80) April 8, 2018
Shame on you @ITV.
Let's all give all drink drivers who injure or kill people a cheer shall we? Yay! ?
— Chris (@GelNerd) April 8, 2018
Last month Ant McPartlin was involved in a drink driving incident when he lost control of his Mini, with his mum and Labrador, Hurely, as passengers. His car collided with into a maroon BMW which had a man and wife, and their three-year-old daughter, who was taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution.
According to The Mirror, Ant reportedly failed a roadside breathalyser test and was taken away in a police car for questioning.
One witness who was at the scene of the accident said Ant appeared furious after crashing and was ‘shouting at his mum who was also in the car’. She tried to help calm him down while the family in the other car appeared to be pretty shaken up.
The crash happened in Mortlake, South West London and a Scotland Yard spokesperson said:
Police in Richmond were called to Lower Richmond Road at 15.59hrs following reports of a road traffic collision involving three vehicles.
Officers, London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade attended.
A number of individuals were treated at the scene for minor injuries only. A child passenger from one of the cars has been taken to hospital for a check up as a precaution.
A 42-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drink-driving after failing a roadside breathalyser test.
He has been taken to a south London police station for questioning.
Following the incident, ITV executives held crisis talks over the future career of the family favourite.
If you want to discuss any issues relating to alcohol in confidence, contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 for advice and support.