It was no doubt a difficult weekend for Declan Donelly, whose hit show Saturday Night Takeaway was cancelled this week following Ant McPartlin's arrest last Sunday. But loyal fans of the presenting duo made sure to send Dec messages of support via Twitter. The 42-year-old was inundated with sweet comments from some of his nearly seven million Twitter followers, including one that read: "Well, Saturday night just wasn’t the same without my boys on takeaway. Please come back soon ant and dec xxx."
Another message urged the star, who is married to manager Ali Astall, to "just carry on". "Dec… just carry on… we need you & everyone is on your side". And others also sent their support to Ant, who is currently spending time in rehab, "Wishing Ant a speedy recovering. Thank you Dec for looking out for him and standing by him. True friends. Ant you are loved ok."
Declan Donnelly has received messages of support from fans
ITV announced earlier this week that the hit Saturday night show would be cancelled and replaced by The Voice and a repeated episode of Keith Lemon's Through the Keyhole. Dec will, however, return next week and will be presenting the show alone - something he hasn't done before. Takeaway regulars Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffatt will be making their usual appearances.
In a statement, ITV said, "ITV can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later."
Dec and his wife Ali Astall
Meanwhile Dec took to Twitter to post the following heartfelt message to fans. "Whilst I never thought I'd be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we’ve decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead," he said.
"We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that. Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series."