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Should Declan Donnelly go solo permanently?

Dec's showbiz co-star Anthony McPartlin is currently undergoing treatment

declan donnelly solo
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
May 31, 2018
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Since Anthony McPartlin was forced to miss the final two episodes of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and the Britain's Got Talent live shows, his showbiz partner and best friend, Declan Donnelly, presented the shows solo to acclaim from both critics and audiences alike. The pair, who first met when starring as PJ and Duncan on Byker Grove in 1989, have always performed together whether it's as a music duo, co-stars in film and TV and of course, their award-winning shows including I'm a Celebrity and Saturday Night Takeaway. However, some fans have now suggested that Dec could branch out and continue to present on his own, particularly as it is unclear when Ant will return to television following a drink driving charge back in March. He is currently keeping a low profile while undergoing treatment for alcohol addiction.

declan donnelly solo© Photo: Rex

Dec performed in the BGT semi-final

Dec's first solo show

Dec presented his first solo show – the penultimate episode of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway – in March. Just days after Ant's arrest, Dec tweeted a statement which read: "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. 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." Despite looking visibly nervous during the show, the presenter made little reference to his usual co-star's absence and hosted the show by himself. Fans were quick to praise his efforts, with one writing: "Just catching up #SaturdayNightTakeaway @antanddec. Absolutely blown away by Dec. What a complete pro! One of the best shows to date."

READ: Ant McPartlin moves into £4.5 million mansion - and it sounds incredible!

declan donnelly 1© Photo: Rex

Dec has now presented Saturday Night Takeawayand BGT solo

Solo success

Since then, Dec has gone from strength-to-strength, with his memorable solo appearances on Britain's Got Talent's semi-final shows including a starring role in the opening to The Greatest Showman and performed There's No Business Like Show Business! while making his entry into the show. The show hit a peak of nine million viewers during the first semi-final, beating 2017's ratings one million and proving that Dec can carry a show success-wise without his co-presenter. The big question is– does he really want to?

READ: Declan Donnelly forced to apologise for BGT blunder on first show without Ant

Reuniting with Ant

Following Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway's final, Dec chatted to the audience about the series, and how it had been "tinged with sadness" before asking them to give Ant a round of applause. The pair are certainly still on good terms, and were recently spotted spending some time together by a fan, who took a photo with the pair.

ant dec friend 2© Photo: Instagram

Dec might not want to present without his best friend permanently

Friends have also hinted that Ant will hopefully return to TV in time for I'm a Celebrity, with one telling the Daily Mirror: "He did well in rehab… He feels like it has helped. That was what he needed, but he does not need any more for the time being. I think he will be back for I'm a Celebrity." Fans have also made it clear that despite Dec doing a great job, things are quite the same without the duo. One wrote: "Dec has done a great job on his own, but we'd all like to see them back on our screens as a pair," while another added: "I really miss seeing Ant. Dec is brilliant of course but it's never quite right without them together. I really hope he's doing well."

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