- 22 Mar 18
All three episodes of this season's finale of their TV show 'Saturday Night Takeaway' were originally going to be pulled from their airwaves after Ant McPartlin announced earlier this week that he was going back into rehab after video footage of him involved in a two car collision went viral.
Earlier this week, ITV said that this weekend's episode of the show will not go ahead following Ant's announcement that he's going back into rehab.
But, as the old adage goes, the show must go on. And while this weekend's show is still cancelled, Declan Donnelly will now front the the last two scheduled shows of the series on his own after Ant urged him to continue without him, starting next week.
"Dec wouldn’t go ahead without Ant giving him the OK," a source told this morning's Daily Mirror. "Because of their previous pact to work together throughout their career."
Dec said in a statement: "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."
After video footage of him ploughing his car into another vehicle went viral earlier this week, Ant McPartlin of Ant & Dec fame stepped down from his ITV show to seek treatment for his addiction issues.
— antanddec (@antanddec) March 21, 2018
Ant only got out of rehab recently, but will once again be taking time off for "the foreseeable future", according to his publicist, in an effort to deal with his battle with prescription pills.
He was reportedly under the influence of alcohol and/or certain substances when the crash occurred.
The accident earlier this week, which saw Ant questioned on the scene by police before being formally charged yesterday, resulted in a three-year-old child being taken to hospital to be treated for injuries.
A source told the Daily Mirror:"Dec is in a terrible state of mind. He’s totally devastated by what has happened and has had to make difficult decisions in a quick space of time.
"Dec is facing the prospect of having to work on his own - something he simply hasn’t done because they’ve always been a duo. The decision to go ahead with Takeaway was totally Dec’s, and ITV made it clear they’d respect it.
"He feels strongly that a lot was riding on it for a lot of people, but it is incredibly tough for him right now."
Prior to this new incident, Ant had already faced a “tough year” by going into rehab and then separating from his wife.
As Ant is going back into rehab, it was originally thought that ITV would not be able to air the last couple of shows of this season's 'Saturday Night Takeaway' due to be screened during the next couple of weeks .
The final episode was to be filmed in front of a live audience in the USA, but Ant made the decision to pull out of filming it after a long conversation with his sidekick Dec. But Dec has now decided to go ahead and do these last two shows on his own.
"Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments," stated his publicist.
"He has spoken with Dec and ITV today and asked for time off for the foreseeable future. As such, Saturday Night Takeaway will not be going ahead this Saturday."
ITV said in a statement: "ITV has taken a joint decision with Ant and Dec’s team not to broadcast Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend.
“We will be reviewing options for the last two episodes of the series ( March 31 and April 7 ) which would not feature Ant who is taking time off to seek treatment. We very much hope that he gets the help that he needs.”
Ant is not the only high profile star to crash his car while under the influence in recent days. Irish international football star has been suspended by his club Sunderland after being arrested on drink-driving charges.
This is the second time that the Northern Ireland-born footballer has been arrested for drink-driving and, according to media reports, he now faces the realistic possibility of being axed by his club.
The Board and chairman are understood to be against the idea of offering the former Man U player a new contract and will allow him to leave when his current expires, according to reports this morning in the British media.
Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain said: "We expect the highest standard of behaviour from our players.
"Should any individual fall short of those standards then robust action must be taken."
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— Saturday Night Takeaway (@itvtakeaway) March 17, 2018