Declan Donnelly has described the Britain's Got Talent rehearsals as looking "pretty spectacular" ahead of tonight's opening semi-final show.

Donnelly will host the live shows solo and be without Ant McPartlin for the first time in the talent show's history.

The TV duo appeared together in the audition episodes as they were recorded before McPartlin stepped back from his presenting commitments when he was charged with drink-driving earlier this year.

He was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to driving while more than twice over the UK legal limit.

Ant and Dec in happier times

Ahead of the first semi-final, Donnelly wrote on Twitter: "Rehearsals are in full swing here at @EventimApollo Hammersmith for the first @BGT semi final. It's pretty spectacular. Looking forward to seeing you later! D."

McPartlin also missed the final two episodes of his and Donnelly's Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

While Donnelly presented the final two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway alone, Monday's first semi-final will be his solo debut on Britain's Got Talent. The duo have fronted BGT since its inception in 2007.

Britains Got Talent, 7.30pm, TV3