Fans have praised Declan Donnelly after he presented Saturday Night Takeaway without his co-star and best friend, Ant McPartlin, for the first time ever. After initially addressing his solo presenting duties, Dec bravely carried on with the show with the help of Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern, and Twitter gave his efforts a huge thumbs up, with one person writing: "well done Dec flying solo doing fab job x," while another added: "Dec is a bit of a hero for going it alone on Takeaway bless him". A third person tweeted: "Happy they have kept their sense of humour about all this .. Dec doing great! ❤ loving takeaway tonight x".
Addressing Ant's absence at the beginning of the show, Dec joked: "We have got a jam-packed show, this week we have lots to cram in and twice the amount of work to do". The show also included pre-recorded moments that showed the pair taking part in the ongoing 'whodunnit' segment, 'Saturday Knight Takeaway', which were filmed ahead of Ant's arrest for drink driving following a three-vehicle road collision in Richmond. Dec released a statement shortly after the incident to confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway would continue without Ant, writing: "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. Dec x."
The show was adjusted following Ant's absence, and Scarlett and Stephen helped Dec give away Orlando plane tickets to audience members – a task which usually would have been done by Ant. The End of the Show Show was also performed by an ensemble, where Dec was joined by his fellow presenters as well as special guest Paloma Faith. There has been no word as to whether Ant and Dec will be returning to their upcoming projects, including the live shows for Britain's Got Talent and I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.