ENTERTAINMENT
02/04/2018 08:46 BST | Updated 03/04/2018 10:28 BST

Declan Donnelly's 'Saturday Night Takeaway' Solo Debut Was A Ratings Smash

Phew!

Declan Donnelly can breathe a sigh of relief, as his first ever solo effort on ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ wound up being a ratings hit.

The TV personality - who makes up one half of presenting duo Ant and Dec - was forced to go at it alone on Saturday (31 March), following his co-host’s decision to return to treatment, after being charged with drink-driving last month.

Having already been a hit with those who were watching, it’s now been revealed just how many people tuned in to see Dec, with initial figures revealing that show reached an average of 7.7 million viewers.

ITV
Declan Donnelly

What’s more, according to Tellymix, the show peaked with 8.6 million viewers.

This makes it the second-highest rated episode in the current series of ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’, and the most-watched show on TV on Saturday night, though the 100th episode celebration last month was watched by 100,000 more people.

This week, the ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ series finale will air live from Universal Studios in Florida, with Dec once again flying solo for the episode.

Following his solo debut, Dec posted a short thank you post on the duo’s official Twitter page, expressing his gratitude to fans for their “lovely messages”.

The episode itself never explicitly mentioned Ant’s absence, though Dec did make light of the unusual circumstances on more than one occasion.

When the current run of ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ comes to an end, a new series of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ will begin, and while Ant and Dec have already filmed the audition stages, it’s not yet known what will happen when the show goes live later in the year.