It's been reported that Declan Donnelly praised the Saturday Night Takeaway audience for their support in an emotional speech after the show.

He said that they carried him "all the way through" as he hosted the show solo without Ant McPartlin, his presenting partner of 29 years, for the first time.

In comments reported by The Sun, Donnelly told the audience: "I couldn't have done it without you guys."
Despite his nerves Saturday's broadcast was labelled a success as Dec oversaw an almost seamless live 90-minute programme. His only mishap was dropping a carton of popcorn.

"It's been the weirdest, weirdest show," he reportedly said. "[The] reception when I came down the stairs . . . I wasn't sure what was going to happen.

"I wasn't sure how I was going to do or how you were going to react."

The 42-year-old, who recently confirmed that he is going to be a father, will present next week's final episode of Saturday Night Takeaway in Florida, and looks set to perform the Friends theme tune, I'll Be There For You for McPartlin during the grand finale.

Ant and Dec

At a post-show wrap party for production staff he thanked the crew and the show's guests, who included The Script, Davina McCall and comedian Stephen Merchant, for their support.

Ant stepped down from his presenting commitments after he was charged with drink-driving last month, and Donnelly made several veiled references to the absence of his companion during the ITV show.

At one point he said following the news had been "unavoidable" in recent weeks, but did not explicitly mention why McPartlin was missing.

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Earlier Donnelly had joked he had "twice the amount of work to do", and at one point said: "I'll have to do it myself, like everything else this week."

After the broadcast he tweeted: "Thanks for all your lovely messages tonight, they are VERY much appreciated, I'm glad you enjoyed the show.

"I didn't sleep an awful lot last night so I'm off to bed! Night y'all. D x"

His co-host was not completely absent from the programme as McPartlin, 42, appeared in the opening titles and also in the continuation of pre-recorded sketch Saturday Knight Takeaway which also starred Joanna Lumley in her regular role.

The arrest led to that weekend's episode of Saturday Night Takeaway to be cancelled, while there has been speculation over the future of other shows presented by the duo.

McPartlin will appear in court on April 4.