Fans label Dec a ‘disgrace’ for presenting Saturday Night Takeaway without Ant

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly

by Carl Smith |
Published on

Declan Donnelly's under fire for agreeing to present Saturday Night Takeaway without his buddy Ant...

Following Declan Donnelly's statement confirming he'll go ahead and present Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway without Ant McPartlin following his arrest on suspicion of drink-driving, fans have been quick to question the pair's vow never to present without each other.

Addressing the fate of the Saturday Night Takeaway series finale, which is to be presented from Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, Dec said: "We made a promise...and we will honour that. Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series."

However some fans are incredibly disappointed in Dec's decision. Not least because they say it goes back on an agreement the pair made to never work without each other.

GALLERY: Ant and Dec's complete career timeline...

Gallery

Ant and Dec career timeline

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CREDIT: Wenn

And & Dec: Early career

Ant & Dec as PJ and DuncanIn 1989 Dec landed a part on BBC children's drama Byker Grove, playing Duncan. A year later Ant was cast as PJ – PJ and Duncan was born.Another career change for the boys came in 1994, when they began as co-presenters of children's show Gimme 5 on CITV. Just a year later they landed their own programme, The Ant & Dec Show, this time on CBBC.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

And & Dec: Early career

Ant & Dec became popstarsIt wasn't just acting for the boys: PJ & Duncan were pop stars for a while, and became best known for their 1994 UK top 10 Let's Get Ready to Rhumble.Their last studio album, The Cult of Ant and Dec, was released in 1997, managing to chart at number 15.

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CREDIT: Rex

And & Dec: Early career

Ant & Dec hosted SMTV and CD with Cat DeeleyThis kicked off their kids' TV careers, and landed them their first BAFTA Awards.After various other presenting gigs, Ant & Dec started hosting ITV's Saturday morning shows SMTV and CD , alongside Cat Deeley, in 1998.But, in 2001, they made the move from Saturday morning to prime time – for a little show called Pop Idol…

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CREDIT: Pop Idol

Ant & Dec: Primetime career

They hit the prime time with talent show Pop IdolThey presented Pop Idol for two years, before it replaced with The X Factor and Kate Thornton took over.This gave them the opportunity to create and present Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, which is about begin its 13th series.In 2002, a year after Saturday Night Takeaway's debut, the boys joined I'm a Celebrity and have become huge parts of the show.

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CREDIT: Instagram

Ant & Dec: Britain's Got Talent

Establishing themselves as the busiest presenters in the country, Ant & Dec signed up for Britain's Got Talent in 2006 – and a year later signed a two-year golden handcuffs deal with ITV, which was thought to be worth £40 million.They have been hosting the show ever since, and are currently filming for the twelfth series of the show.

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CREDIT: Instagram

Ant & Dec: Awards

Among their numerous gongs, Ant & Dec have received the National Television Award for Most Popular Entertainment/TV Presenter for 15 years running. Most recently, at the 2018 NTAs, the duo won Best Presenter.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Ant & Dec: Friendship

Ant previously revealed his friendship with Dec started in 1990, when he sent him a Christmas card and invited him to a football match.He said: "And that was that. It just happened immediately. We clicked. We'd spend all day making each other laugh and annoying everyone and quoting Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer lines to each other."When their parts were written out of Byker Grove, the boys vowed to stick together. Dec told Weekend magazine: "We made a pact. We said to each other, 'Look, whatever happens, I'll always be there for you and you're never in this life on your own or against the world – you've always got a mate looking out for you."Even though they work together, Ant & Dec make sure they go out together at least once a week – and even live three doors apart in London!Dec said: "It's our choice to socialise outside work. And we both get to go to work with our best mate every day. And that keeps our feet on the ground."Ant added: "We love each other, definitely."

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

Ant & Dec: Relationships

In 2015 Dec married his longtime manager Ali Astall and Ant was, of course, best man. And in July 2006, Dec acted as best man at Ant's wedding to make-up artist Lisa Armstrong. Ant and Lisa, however, filed for divorce this month after 11 years of marriage.

In their 2010 autobiography Ooh! What a Lovely Pair, however, Ant and Dec revealed they'd 'made an agreement' never to host as individuals.

In the book, Ant wrote: "We made an agreement. Whatever happens, we'll be mates forever, and neither one of us would ever be on our own out there."

Dec added: "We've been incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed such a remarkable time. Throughout it all, we've always had one constant that's kept us sane – each other."

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly
©Shutterstock

So how do fans feel about the pair going back on their word? Well, while many are in support others aren't sure Dec should go it alone.

One Twitter user wrote: "Am I alone in feeling disproportionately anxious about Dec appearing without Ant and Ant sitting at home feeling pointless and sober."

Another claimed: "Dec doing the show without Ant is a disgrace, get Dick and Dom on."

Earlier this week, ITV released a statement confirming Ant has stepped down from his presenting duties for the 'foreseeable future.' They said: "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.

"ITV has taken a joint decision with Ant and Dec’s team not to broadcast Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend."

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