Ant confirms he won't be returning to TV until 2019
And yes, you guessed it - this means Ant won't be presenting I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here alongside Dec, which has led many fans to wonder who may be replacing Ant on this years series.
I'm a Celebrity fans are beginning to predict who they think should join Dec in Australia with some saying Phillp Schofield or Cat Deeley should get the job. However, former contestant Iain Lee has claimed Dec should present the show on his own.
Voicing his opinions on Good Morning Britain, he said: "We know Dec can do it on his own as he did the other shows on his own, he's fine, he'll be able to cope with it,"
ITV and Ant released a joint statement yesterday afternoon to confirm that the TV presenter will not be returning to television until 2019 as he continues to focus on his recovery.
Ant added: "My recovery is going very well and for that to continue having spoken to Dec and ITV, I have made the decision to take the rest of the year off. I'd like to thank both Dec and ITV for their continued support and I look forward to getting back to work in the new year."
Dec said: "Whilst I am obviously sad at the thought of being without my best friend in Australia this year, I am proud of the work Ant has been doing privately and I am fully supportive of his decision. I'm looking forward to us both being reunited on screen in 2019."
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Stephen Mulhern doesn't think Ant will return to work until next year
The 'Britain's Got More Talent' host is convinced his 42-year-old co-star will remain out of the public eye for the rest of the year while he works on beating his demons in rehab after he was found guilty of drink-driving in court earlier this month.
Speaking to Best magazine, the 41-year-old presenter said: "Fingers crossed, Ant will get the treatment he needs and be back to his old self for next year. But he does need the rest and to be left alone, and given the time to recover."
If Stephen is correct and Ant doesn't return to TV until 2019, it means he will be absent for the very popular I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! which him and Dec have hosted since 2012. It is looking likely Dec could present I'm A Celebrity on his own after Dec he presented the final two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway on his own. It has also been confirmed Dec will present the Britain's Got Talent live shows by himself too.
Dec without Ant
Although we could see that Dec was a little upset to be without presenting partner Ant on Saturday night, we thought he did an excellent job despite being on his own, and it looks like we're not the only ones who thought that.
Following Dec's success at hosting Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway last weekend alone, ITV bosses are said to be that impressed with his performance, they are considering that Dec should present the upcoming series of Britain's Got Talent alone.
Whilst the audition stages of Britain's Got Talent have been pre-recorded with both Ant and Dec, it is yet to be announced who will be presenting the live shows. Sources have revealed that ITV would prefer to see Dec present the show rather than bringing in a new face to present.
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway
This weekend will see a change in schedule on ITV Saturday night, but the first episode of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway without Ant will be returning as usual on Saturday 31st March. This will be the first time we've seen Dec present without Ant.
Whilst Ant is facing charges of driving over the legal alcohol limit, Dec will be presenting the popular Saturday night family show alongside a huge celebrity line-up that has just been revealed.
Although Dec will be without Ant, his co-presenters Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffatt will still be in their usual roles. Singer Paloma Faith will be performing as well as Irish band, The Script. Saturdays star guest announcer will be actor and comedian Stephen Merchant.
It's been a worrying few days for fans of Geordie duo Ant and Dec, after Ant McPartlin was arrested in the aftermath of a car accident. The presenter was allegedly over the alcohol limit and has returned to rehab, leaving the fate of this week's episode of Saturday Night Takeaway in the air. It's now been suggested that one final episode might be presented by Declan Donnelly on his own!
Good Morning Britain's senior news correspondent Jonathan Swain has claimed that Dec will present the final episode of the series on March 31. He said on the programme today:
"The final episode was due to be live from Orlando, Florida, with a planeload of competition winners. Well Dec will now be hosting that without his long-term best friend and presenting partner."
ITV are yet to comment on this rumour.
We can only imagine how difficult that would be for Dec, who is rarely seen without his colleague and best buddy, and is understandably 'devastated' by Ant's relapse. A source close to the pair told The Sun that Dec is worried about the future of their brand.
Since the accident, which saw Ant arrested for failing a breathalyzer test, Ant has returned to rehab for the second time in a year. He has reportedly struggled with a painkiller addiction after a knee operation in 2015. It's been a tough year for Ant already, with he and wife Lisa announcing their separation in January, after 11 years of marriage.
Other sources claim that this week's episode will be cancelled, so we'll be keeping an eye out for more information. The series is apparently set to run for three more episodes, so whether they will be cancelled or replaced is also up in the air.
Ant and Dec have worked together for more than two decades, starting out in children's drama Byker Grove. They've remained popular ever since, both as pop stars (albeit briefly!) and presenters on shows like SMTV:Live, Britain's Got Talent and Saturday Night Takeaway.
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