Simon Cowell has said that he is "almost certain" that Ant McPartlin will return to television next year. The popular presenter, who usually presents shows including I'm a Celebrity, Britain's Got Talent and Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway with his showbiz partner, Declan Donnelly, is currently undergoing treatment for alcohol addiction following a drink driving charge. Chatting to The Mirror about Ant's return to television, Simon said: "He's not a bad person, he's not the only person these things happen to. He's in the public eye. It's a wake-up call. It's as simple as that."
Simon has said he's 'almost certain' Ant will return to TV
The BGT judge continued: "Maybe the pressure was more than I realised. He's not a malicious person, he's just got himself into a place. But he has owned it and he's going to deal with it. He's taken a step back because his health is way more important than a TV show. I'm almost certain he'll be back next year. And we want him back." Simon also joked about Ant's return during connection problems in the first semi-final, saying: "Ant, you are coming back next year – you don't have to do that!"
Due to Ant's absence, Dec presented the live shows by himself, receiving critical acclaim for critics and viewers alike. Speaking about his show stopping opening number on Sunday night, one person wrote: "How do we vote for Dec's opening routine? I don't think that can be topped," while another added: "Dec is amazing. Dec doing acrobatics !! Dancing, singing, He is the GREATEST SHOWMAN." However, fans still missed Ant on the show, with one writing: "How comfortable has Declan been on the live shows. Still prefer Ant & Dec. But Declan has shown what a pro he is."