What to expect from Saturday Night Takeaway as Dec hosts without Ant

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Declan Donnelly is to host Saturday Night Takeaway on his own for the first time in the show's history on Saturday evening as co-host Ant McPartlin takes time away from television, following his arrest for drink-driving.

The show - which was cancelled last Saturday - was labelled a success as Dec oversaw an nearly seamless live 90-minute show with his only mishap dropping a carton of popcorn.

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".

And the show got off to an emotional start for some, with Guest Announcer Stephen Merchant congratulating Dec on his baby news.

But he will feature in the episode as part of the duo's pre-recorded Saturday Knight Takeaway sketch after it was decided they should be broadcast.

Dec will be leading the Saturday Night Takeaway team without Ant for the remaining two shows.

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Merchant then asked Dec if he needed a hand presenting as there was "a little bit of space on the stage", before the pair exchanged a joke about their height difference.

Hours before the live show, the programme's official Twitter account previewed the script which confirmed Dec would be hosting alone. His wife, Ali Astall, also paid tribute to her husband in a rare tweet, writing: "I'm incredibly proud of my husband. Here's hoping that he will do as great a job at Florida next week".

Dec, 42, who recently confirmed he is going to be a father, will also present next week's final episode in Florida.

The decision was made after Ant McPartlin was charged with drink driving following a collision in south-west London last Wednesday (March 21).

He will appear in court on April 4.

There's been much speculation over the past few days as to whether Dec will address Ant when he hosts the show alone, as it was reported that "show chiefs have been agonising over whether Dec should apologise for Ant's no-show, ignore the incident or have no mention of Ant at all".

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