Saturday Night Takeaway's series finale was watched by an average of 6.9 million viewers, down by nearly one million from last week.

Last night's episode of the ITV variety programme, the second to be hosted solo by Declan Donnelly after his co-star Ant McPartlin took a step back from TV commitments, had a 35% audience share and peaked at eight million viewers.

ITV said the 90-minute episode, broadcast live from the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, was still the most-watched programme of the night across all channels.

Former bond girl Denise Richards was guest announcer on last night/'s show

Donnelly took the presenting reins during last weekend's episode of the programme, and he returned for the grand finale along with support presenters and show regulars Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern.

McPartlin has been absent from the series in recent weeks after he was charged by postal requisition on March 21 after allegedly being involved in a collision with two other cars while he was driving his Mini in Richmond, west London, on March 18.

The variety show was cancelled for one week, but Donnelly returned to host last Saturday.
Following the final episode of the series, Donnelly paid tribute to his long-time TV partner.

After going off air, he thanked the audience for their support during the series, adding that it had been "fun" but "tinged with sadness".

He asked for a round of applause for McPartlin, "who is back at home". Donnelly added: "He'll appreciate that."

McPartlin did, however, make a brief appearance in a pre-recorded comedy sketch for the show called Saturday Knight Takeaway.

Craig David

Donnelly tweeted after the episode: "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."

The episode was filled with pre-recorded skits and live performances from R&B star Jason Derulo and pop-rockers The Rembrandts.

Hollywood star Denise Richards acted as the guest announcer, and singer Craig David was on hand as the show's resident DJ.