Dec without Ant - a tough solo outing but it's a winner
Full marks to Declan Donnelly for presenting the ever-popular ITV programme Saturday Night Takeaway in the toughest of circumstances at the weekend.
Yes I know - the 42-year-old is a multi-millionaire and it’s just a TV show, so what’s so tough about that? Well it was just possible that that one show could have marked a drastic downturn in his entire career and through absolutely no fault of his own.
It was the first time since he originally appeared on screen as a child actor with long-time showbiz partner Ant McPartlin way back in 1989 that he had worked solo. What’s more nearly eight million people were watching.
The circumstances were difficult too. Ant, his co-host on everything from I’m A Celebrity and Britain’s Got Talent, is clearly a troubled man and he’s just entered rehab for the second time in a year. Last summer he sought help after it was revealed that he had become addicted to prescription pain-killers. Now he’s back in rehab after being arrested and charged with drink driving. It is not known when or even if he will ever appear on screen again.
Not only is this latest episodes a blow to the family-entertainment brand that Ant and Dec have come to represent but it leaves Ant struggling with his demons and Dec desperately worried about his friend and business partner.
The pair have been a double-act for so long that presenting solo must feel utterly odd. What the future holds for them is uncertain but let’s hope that eventually it all comes good again.