Ant McPartlin will make a brief appearance on Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend, despite the TV star checking into rehab to seek treatment. Ant will still feature in the pre-recorded whodunnit segment – Saturday Knight Takeaway – which he filmed prior to his car crash and rehab stay. Show bosses had reportedly been weighing up whether to scrap the segment, but have decided to go ahead with it.
"There's been some discussion about whether the whole of the series should be ditched because Ant features heavily," a Takeaway source told The Sun. "But after a lot of soul searching it was decided that the final two episodes should run because viewers have loved the series and want to find out the conclusion in the final two episodes. Obviously, it means Ant will still be on the show in some form."
Ant will still feature in the pre-recorded whodunnit segment
ITV bosses are currently in talks with Ant's best friend, Declan Donnelly, who will present the final two episodes of Takeaway alone. Dec is expected to address his co-star's absence in some shape or form at the beginning of Saturday's episode. The source added: "At the moment talks are taking place about exactly how his situation, in regards to the drink driving charge and rehab, will be addressed."
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Ant, 42, was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after he was involved in a three-vehicle car crash on Sunday 18 April. The TV presenter failed a breathalyser test and was taken in by police. The following Wednesday, he was charged with drink-driving. A spokesperson for the TV star announced that Ant was going back to rehab to seek treatment, and would take time off work. He is not expected to return to host Britain's Got Talent this spring.
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ITV confirmed that the final two episodes of Takeaway would still air, with Dec at the helm. The hundreds of winners would also still fly to Florida for the grand finale. Dec said in a statement: "Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series."