Ant and Dec postpone 2019's Saturday Night Takeaway

Ant and Dec have postponed next year’s Saturday Night Takeaway, with the show not set to return until 2020.

Dec Donnelly will also front November’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!’ alone, while Ant McPartlin continues to take a break from all TV presenting until 2019.

They said it was a joint decision to postpone a new series of Takeaway.

Ant stepped down from his TV work in March following his arrest on suspicion of drink driving following a car crash.

He was fined £86,000 and given a 20-month driving ban after pleading guilty to drink driving and announced he would immediately be taking time out from presenting and seeking treatment for addiction.

He pulled out of the last two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway and didn’t present the live shows of Britain’s Got Talent this year.

In a statement Ant said his 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”.

He added: “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.”

Production and filming for Saturday Night Takeaway next year would normally have already started, so they said the decision was made because “neither Ant & Dec nor ITV wanted to compromise the quality of the show”.

They will instead bring the show back in 2020, “bigger and better than ever”.

Dec said he was “obviously sad” at the thought of being without his “best friend” in Australia this year for I’m a Celebrity but understood his decision.

‘Completely supportive’

“I am proud of the work Ant has been doing privately and I am fully supportive of his decision. I’m looking forward to us both being reunited on screen in 2019.”

ITV’s director of television Kevin Lygo said the company was “completely supportive of Ant taking as much time as he needs in his recovery”.

“Ant is clearly making good progress and we wish him all the very best and look forward to him returning to ITV next year. An announcement on I’m A Celebrity plans will be made in due course.”

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