Declan Donnelly may not have mentioned Ant McPartlin during last night’s (7 April) ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ finale, but when the cameras stopped rolling, he called for the audience to applaud his pal.
Dec was fronting the show solo for the second week running, as Ant is receiving rehab treatment after being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving last month.
For the grand finale, ITV took ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ and its audience to Florida’s Universal Studios. Dec wasn’t totally alone though, as he jetted out with Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffatt, who were on hand to help with presenting duties.
Viewers here in the UK didn’t see Dec’s tribute to his friend when the live show aired, but one member of the studio audience filmed the speech he gave after the credits had rolled:
In the video, posted on Twitter, Dec can be seen saying: “Thanks for all the love and support, it’s been a series tinged with... well…”
When an audience member then shouts out, “We miss Ant”, Dec replies: “Yes, we do, we do.
“Would you give a round of applause to Ant who’s back at home.
“Thank you so much. He’ll appreciate that a great, great deal.”
On Saturday, it was revealed that Ant was allegedly twice over the legal limit when he was arrested for drink driving.
According to police, the TV presenter’s breathalyser reading was 75mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35 mcg.
The 42-year-old was due in court on Wednesday (4 April) but the case has been adjourned until Monday 16 April.
If found guilty, the TV star could face up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine.
Since his arrest, Ant has stood down from all TV commitments for the foreseeable future and returned to rehab for treatment.