ITV have ramped up the promo ahead of the new series of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ but there’s one thing - well, two - noticeably absent.
Ant and Dec, who have hosted the show for the entirety of its 11-year run, are not featured in the press pack, glossy photographs or advert released to promote the new episodes.
The omission comes amid speculation over how much the pair will feature in the new series of ‘BGT’, following Ant McPartlin’s arrest for drink-driving and subsequent move away from the spotlight.
The presenter is currently seeking treatment in rehab, leaving Dec to host the final two episodes of ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ solo, but things have been a little more complicated in relation to ‘BGT’.
The duo had filmed all of the audition stages prior to Ant’s arrest, and the small segment that sees the judges deliberate over who to put through to the live shows was also complete. This means we will see them in Saturday’s (14 April) series opener - unless the editing team have been tasked with the impossible job of cutting them out.
The live shows themselves will begin at the end of May and there is no word yet on who will present them, but rumours strongly suggest Dec is lined-up to host alone.
Ant will appear in court on Monday 16 April, and depending on the result of this, he could bounce back in time to host the programme, but as the presenter’s focus remains on his rehab treatment, this looks unlikely.
In previous years, Ant and Dec have also provided voice overs for the ‘BGT’ audition stages, which are, traditionally, one of the last things added to the show’s edit. Bosses have not said whether they’ve recorded them this year.
HuffPost UK has contacted a ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ spokesperson for comment and is awaiting a response.
Ant has had a difficult 12 months after first hitting headlines last June, when he checked into rehab seeking treatment for an addiction to painkillers.
After spending over two months in a treatment facility, he then jetted to the States to continue his recovery.
In November, he returned to public life, hosting the last series of ‘I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!’, but endured speculation his marriage to wife Lisa Armstrong was on the rocks.
The couple later confirmed their split after 11 years of marriage in a statement in January.
His drink-driving arrest took place on Sunday 18 March, when he failed a breathalyser test after crashing his car in London, later stepping down from all upcoming TV commitments to return to rehab.