ENTERTAINMENT
31/03/2018 20:22 BST

Declan Donnelly Wins Over 'Saturday Night Takeaway' Viewers With First Solo Show

'You're doing so well I have forgotten the unusual circumstances at times!'

Declan Donnelly got the thumbs up from ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ viewers during his first ever solo show.

This week, Dec was forced to step up and host the show by himself, after regular co-presenter Ant McPartlin returned to treatment, following his charge for drink-driving.

During the show, which aired live on Saturday (31 March), Dec only briefly touched on Ant’s absence, making light of the situation a few times during the show.

ITV
Declan Donnelly

Fortunately, the show was met with a warm reception from fans, who took to social media to shower Dec with praise:

While viewers were admittedly sad to see Dec alone on stage, with many commenting on Twitter that their hearts went out to him, they did note that he was doing a great job on his own:

Following his arrest for drink-driving earlier this month, Ant McPartlin’s spokesperson confirmed that he would be stepping down from all his presenting commitments “for the foreseeable future”.

While last week’s ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ was pulled from the schedule, ITV later announced plans for Dec to host the final two episodes of the series, including next week’s live series finale, without Ant at his side.

During his opening monologue in Saturday’s show, Dec briefly touched on Ant’s absence, joking: “We’ve got a lot to cram in, and I’ve got twice as much work to do, so let’s crack on.”

Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
Ant and Dec at the TV Baftas in 2017

He also made light of the situation later in the show, commenting that he would have to take over the ‘End Of The Show Show’ preparations himself, “like everything else this week”.

Despite Ant’s absence, it was business as usual during this week’s ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’, including the pre-recorded recurring comedy mini-series ‘The Honoured’, a take-off of Davina McCall’s series ‘This Time Next Year’ and, of course, the show’s famous ‘Win The Ads’ quiz segment.