Declan Donnelly admits to sleepless night over Saturday Night Takeaway

Declan Donnelly admits to sleepless night over Saturday Night Takeaway

Declan Donnelly hosted ITV's Saturday Night Takeaway solo for the first time this evening, after his sidekick Ant prepares for court following his drink driving accident.

He joked that he had to do double the work after Ant stepped down from future TV commitments.

For the first time since 1988, Dec presented without his best friend by his side.

At one point he said following the news had been "unavoidable" in recent weeks but did not explicitly mention why Ant was missing. I didn't sleep an very bad lot last night so I'm off to bed! Throughout the programme Dec was supported by Davina McCall, Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern, with the star addressing Ant's absence at the beginning of the show.

Dec then took the opportunity to bid farewell to The London Studios, home to Saturday Night Takeaway since 2002, and wandered the corridors of the soon-to-close Southbank building where he and Ant also filmed SM:TV Live.

Earlier in the show, Dec joked that he had to take on extra work as he prepared to present the show solo.

Following the airing of the pre-recorded sketch which saw Ant and Dec reunited, Merchant said: "That other guy was good, you should do more stuff with him".

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

Once he was in his stride - and perhaps had caught a glimpse of the avalanche of love coming his way on social media - Dec well and truly smashed it. "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".

After cancelling last week's episode of the popular ITV Saturday night show after Ant was charged with drink driving earlier this month, Dec announced that he would be returning to host this week's show solo, marking the first time in the series' 16 year history that he has gone it alone.