Declan Donnelly to present Saturday Night Takeaway alone

Millions of people spent their soggy Easter Saturday evening tuning into Saturday Night Takeaway, as Declan Donnelly hosted the prime-time juggernaut alone.

It was confirmed in a tweet last week from Ant and Dec's official account that tonight's episode and the Florida finale would both be hosted by Dec on his own.

Many were surprised at Donnelly making no direct reference to his friend's absence.

And he waited until the very end of the show to express his heartfelt thanks for the support the audience had given him. "I've got twice the amount of work to do so we're going to crack on".

Fans twetted: "It's Davina and Decs #saturdaynighttakeaway by the look of things!'; '@antanddec @ThisisDavina Dec and Davina I'm in tears"; "Ah yes, I love that show called Davina and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway"; '#SaturdayNightTakeaway so its Dec and Davina (oh Ant)'.

Ant was not completely absent from the programme.

Hosting for the first time without his long-term collaborator, Dec used his opening comments to quip: "We have got a jam-packed show this week".

Dec Donnelly
ITVSaturday Night Takeaway Dec appeared to be overcome with emotion

The presenter will be without Ant McPartlin for the penultimate episode in the series although Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern will be on hand in their regular support roles.

Hundreds of viewers agreed saying he had done Ant "proud".

Taking to Twitter, Dec wrote: 'Thanks for all your lovely messages tonight, they are VERY much appreciated, I'm glad you enjoyed the show. "I don't know what's going to happen but the show must go on", The Mirror states. "Here's hoping that he will do as great a job at Florida next week".

Ant became convinced his co-presenter Dec was a mole after talking to Joanna Lumley, who also featured in the series, and gave Dec an almighty telling off.

This was Ant McPartlin's only appearance on Saturday Night Takeaway as he skipped the bulk of the show following his drink-driving charge.

The 42-year-old has been charged with the offence and will appear in court next week.

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