Ant McPartlin fought back tears as he returned to Britain’s Got Talent on Friday, after an almost year-long absence from TV. He was introduced to the audience at the London Palladium by Declan Donnelly, who said: "We’ve got the judges back, the golden buzzer is back, and someone else is back. My co-host for the series, would you please welcome... Mr Ant McPartlin."
After receiving rapturous applause from the audience and judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams, an emotional Ant said: "Hello everyone. Oh god, I’m really really emotional now. I’ve missed you all. As for you (pointing at Dec) I’ve missed you."
Ant McPartlin returned to Britain's Got Talent on Friday
He continued: "Thank you very much, what a warm welcome. What a great show to come back to, I’m thrilled, I’m over the moon. Shall we move on before I cry?" Simon was equally happy to see Ant back on stage, and told him: "Ant welcome back. We missed you; it wasn’t the same. I mean even though Dec was brilliant, it still wasn’t the same. It would be like me not being with David, I would be happy, but not happy - if that makes sense. So on behalf of all of us, welcome back, we’re family. (Turns to audience) You are family!"
Earlier in the day, Ant and Dec celebrated their on-screen reunion by sharing their first selfie together after ten months apart. In a picture posted on their joint Instagram account, the caption read: "#BGT 2019. Audition day 1. The boys are back in town!" This is the first time the co-hosts have been seen together for work since filming Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway in March.
Ant was welcomed back by the BGT judges
Ant, 43, has been off work since last spring, when he was involved in a car collision in Richmond. He was found guilty of drink-driving, fined £86,000 and given a 20-month driving ban. Ant subsequently pulled out of hosting Saturday Night Takeaway, leaving Dec to front the rest of the series alone. This Morning's Holly Willoughby also stepped into his role for I'm a Celebrity at the end of the year.
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