WATCH: Stephen Mulhern joins Ant and Dec from their homes
"Stephen we haven't seen you since the start of the show. Where have you been?" Dec asked. While Stephen at first joked he had been stuck in Hollywood after his private jet broke down, he went on to say: "No, but seriously, I haven't been too well."
He added that he was grateful for all the supportive messages he has received from fans in recent weeks, saying: "So thank you for all of your lovely messages," before swiftly moving on. "Do you know something? Forget about that all now because the show must go on!" he said with a wide grin, proving that he is very much already back to his old self.
Stephen has been battling a mystery illness that has kept away from screens
Fans were naturally delighted to see Stephen back on their screens and took to Twitter to say as much. One wrote: "Welcome back Stephen we've missed you so much #SaturdayNightTakeaway."
Another added: "The king of entertainment is back where he belongs. #SaturdayNightTakeaway . Welcome home @StephenMulhern, we've missed you," while a third said: "@StephenMulhern so happy to see you back on our screens and back on your feet. Missed you! Xx."
Stephen only made one brief appearance in the new series before his triumphant return
The much-loved TV presenter was forced to miss a string of shows throughout February and March as he rested up "on doctors' orders". Explaining his absence, he tweeted: "Hello all, Sorry I've been quiet on here recently and thank you for all your lovely messages. I've had some time off and been resting up on doctors orders."
In a follow-up tweet, he added: "I'm on the mend, I'm happy to say, and looking forward to getting back to work soon. In the meantime I'll put my feet up and watch Saturday Night Takeaway tonight with the rest of you lot. Please don't miss me too much! Lots of love, Stephen. X."
The TV star has been part of the evening entertainment show's line-up since 2016 and appears on the show to present the Ant vs Dec segment. However, before this weekend's show, he had only made one brief appearance in the launch episode, which saw him dress up as Donald Trump for a skit.