Ant McPartlin has shared a personal message to fans, hours after confirming he won't be returning to presenting duties until 2019. The TV presenter took to the official Ant and Dec Twitter account on Thursday evening to write: "Thank you for all the messages of support. Ax."
The 42-year-old was inundated with well wishes after releasing a statement to reveal that he would not be joining his fellow presenter Declan Donnelly to present I'm a Celebrity in 2018, and there would be no new series of their hit show Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway until 2020.
Ant McPartlin has thanked fans for their support after confirming his TV break
Posting a statement on Ant and Dec's website, the presenter wrote: "My recovery is going very well and for that to continue having spoken to Dec and ITV, I have made the decision to take the rest of the year off. I'd like to thank both Dec and ITV for their continued support and I look forward to getting back to work in the New Year."
See Ant and Dec's career highlights
Dec added: "Whilst I am obviously sad at the thought of being without my best friend in Australia this year, I am proud of the work Ant has been doing privately and I am fully supportive of his decision. I'm looking forward to us both being reunited on screen in 2019."
The pair confirmed that they wouldn't air Saturday Night Takeaway until Ant was back, with the statement reading: "In addition Ant and Dec have made the joint decision not to present a new series of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in Spring 2019. Production and filming for a Saturday Night Takeaway series in February would normally have already started, and continue throughout 2018 and early 2019. Neither Ant & Dec nor ITV wanted to compromise the quality of the show and therefore felt it was better to rest the series next year. They will instead bring the show back in 2020, bigger and better than ever."
Dec said he would be "sad" to present without Ant
Ant has taken a break from his television career after he was charged with drink driving back in April. He had been travelling with his mum when he crashed the car, leaving several people with minor injuries. Since then, he has since stayed out of the limelight to focus on his recovery, while Dec has presented their shows solo.