ITV confirm who will present Britain’s Got Talent in Ant McPartlin’s absence

The show returns this Saturday

Britain's Got Talent

by Alex Ross |
Updated on

After weeks of speculation as to who will present this year's Britain's Got Talent following Ant McPartlin's arrest, ITV have now confirmed that Dec Donnelly will present the show on his own.

The auditions for the 2018 series were filmed in January and February, therefore Ant will feature alongside Dec for the first few episodes. However, as Ant is currently in rehab to battle his addictions, he has stepped down from all TV appearances and won't feature on the live shows.

ITV said, "Dec will be hosting the live shows, which for the first time ever are coming from the Hammersmith Apollo, while Ant steps down from his TV commitments for now. We send Ant all our love. And we know that Dec will do a brilliant job."

Dec Donnelly
©Dec Donnelly © REX/Shutterstock

The news comes after Dec was praised by fans after he presented the final two episodes of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway without Ant.

Despite looking nervous at the start, Dec showed his true professionalism and delivered two amazing shows for the live audience and viewers at home.

After presenting the show on his own for only the second time in history, Dec took to Twitter after the episode aired to thank fans for their support. He wrote, 'Thanks for all the lovely messages again this week, we’re all so glad you enjoyed the #SaturdayNightTakeaway series finale. We’ve had a blast in Florida, now it’s holiday time! Thanks for your support. D x' [sic]

Fan footage from the programme also showed Dec sending an emotional message to his best friend, as Ant watched the show in England.

He said, "Would you just give one round of applause to Ant who is back home in England", to which the crowd erupted with applause."

Watch the moment below:

ITV released a statement confirming Ant would be returning to rehab to get treatment for his addictions last month. After being arrested and later charged with drink driving, ITV confirmed Ant has decided to step down from all TV duties for the foreseeable future.

The statement read, "Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments. He has spoken with Dec and ITV today and asked for time off for the foreseeable future."

Ant & Dec
©Ant & Dec © REX/Shutterstock

Meanwhile, after the Britain's Got Talent trailer landed last week, brand new promotional photos of Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon were posted on Instagram yesterday.

Showing all four judges looking very glamorous, the caption read, 'The Judges are back and looking better than ever ✨💃 Tune in to @itv at 8pm on Saturday 14th April 📺 #BGT'. [sic]

The new series of Britain's Got Talent airs at 8pm on ITV on Saturday 14th April.

Now check out where the child stars of BGT are now:


CLOSER Britain's Got Talent child stars: Then and now STACKED

BGT1 of 14

Aidan Davis, then

Aidan appeared on the talent show in 2009 when he was just 11 years old, and he has grown into quite the handsome young man now, hasn't he?During his audition, Simon Cowell told him: "I think you're better than any dancer I have ever seen. I think you are super, super, super talented."

BGT2 of 14
CREDIT: Instagram

Aidan Davis, now

Aidan is now 19, still dancing and rapping and is a black belt in karate.His Facebook page says he writes all of his own lyrics, and is in the studio working on new material.Check out his Instagram (@aiidandavis) for more pictures...

bgt3 of 14

Connie Talbot, then

Connie went on to become a huge success after auditioning for the very first series of Britain's Got Talent despite never having had a singing lesson in her life.She released her debut album Over The Rainbow in 2007 and went on to release a Christmas record, Holiday Magic.

BGT4 of 14
CREDIT: Instagram

Connie Talbot, now

In 2014 she released an EP, Gravity, and a DVD of her Beautiful World tour went on sale in 2015. Connie is now 17 years old (!!!) and shares songs with her 169k followers on Instagram.

BGT5 of 14

Hollie Steel, then

Hollie sparked a debate when she appeared on the show in series three in 2009 at the age of 10 about whether there should be a lower age limit for auditionees.She made it through to the final of the season and finished in sixth place but during her semi-final performance forgot the words to her song and burst into tears live on television.The singer was comforted by judge Amanda Holden and boss Simon Cowell demanded producers find time for her to have a second try on the night.

BGT6 of 14
CREDIT: Instagram

Hollie Steel, now

After the show she toured with Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of Sound of Music with Jason Donovan and in 2010 released a self-titled album through her own record label BB5 Records Limited.These days she shares videos of herself singing on YouTube where she has more than 30,000 subscribers.

BGT7 of 14

Ronan Parke, then

Singer Ronan auditioned for the fifth series of Britain's Got Talent and found himself embroiled in an online smear campaign when an anonymous blogger claimed he had been groomed by Simon Cowell to appear on the show for two years beforehand.The allegations were proven to be untrue and Mr Cowell signed him up to release a self-titled album of covers, and single A Thousand Miles.

BGT8 of 14
CREDIT: Instagram

Ronan Parke, now

He was later dropped from Simon's record label and is now working with Rosen Music Group on new music.His website states: "Ronan has so many exciting things coming up."

bgt9 of 14

George Sampson, then

George impressed viewers with his dancing when he body-popped his way across the stage in the second series.He went on to win the show and was signed up for some big money sponsorship and advertising deals.

bgt10 of 14
CREDIT: Instagram

George Sampson, now

George released single Get On Up On The Dance Floor/Headz Up and has appeared in dance stage shows such as Into The Hoods.He had a cameo role in film StreetDance 3D and moved into acting with a recurring role in BBC soap Waterloo Road, and also appeared in Casualty.In 2016 he appeared in four episodes of Emmerdale as part of character Aaron Livesy's child abuse storyline, and was also part of a national tour of show Our House, featuring songs by Madness.

bgt11 of 14

Jack Carroll, then

Jack auditioned for Britain's Got Talent as a comedian at the age of 14 in 2013.He finished runner-up in the seventh series and went on to land television roles in David Walliams' comedy Big School and BBC show Doctors.

bgt12 of 14
CREDIT: Instagram

Jack Carroll, now

The teenager, who was born with cerebral palsy, was also signed up by Simon Cowell to write an autobiography.

bgt13 of 14

Shaheen Jafargholi, then

The Welsh singer impressed the judges with his performance of Michael Jackson's Who's Loving You when he auditioned for Britain's Got Talent in 2009.At the age of 12 he was asked to perform at the late pop star's funeral and, after the performance, Motown founder Berry Gordy said: "I have no cotton pickin' idea who that is, but if I were still in the business, I would sign him tomorrow."

bgt14 of 14

Shaheen Jafargholi, now

Shaheen made it to the final of his series and went on to branch out into acting, appearing in shows such as Torchwood, Grandpa In My Pocket, Casualty and EastEnders.

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