Declan Donnelly has released an emotional statement after it was revealed his best friend and presenting partner Ant McPartlin was splitting up the Ant and Dec duo by stepping down from hosting I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
On Thursday 9 August, Ant announced his plans for the future as he continues his rehabilitation after battling prescription drugs and alcohol.
Confirming in a statement, Ant explained his recovery was “going very well” after he returned to rehab, following an addiction to prescription drugs.
Ant said in a statement: “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 broke his silence on the subject by adding: “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.
Ant McPartlin appears to reveal a new tattoo on his wrist as he appears alongside best friend Dec for first time since drink drive arrest in a fan’s picture [Instagram/ davinadarr]
“I’m looking forward to us both being reunited on screen in 2019.”
A statement from ITV, following the news he would not be hosting I’m A Celebrity 2018 later this year, read.
“In addition Ant and Dec have made the joint decision not to present a new series of ‘Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway’ in Spring 2019.
“Production and filming for a ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ series in February would normally have already started, and continue throughout 2018 and early 2019.
“Neither Ant & Dec nor ITV wanted to compromise the quality of the show and therefore felt it was better to rest the series next year.”
They added: “They will instead bring the show back in 2020, bigger and better than ever.”