Saturday Night Takeaway will not air this weekend after Ant McPartlin’s drink driving arrest

The presenter is heading back to rehab with a decision yet to be made on the remaining two shows of the series

Ant and Dec Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV Pictures, JG)

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway will not air on March 24th following co-host Anthony McPartlin’s arrest on suspicion of drink driving.

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An ITV spokesman confirmed in a statement that the channel has “taken a joint decision with Ant and Dec’s team not to broadcast Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend.”

The show – which McPartlin fronts with long-time presenting partner Declan Donnelly – will return on Saturday 31st March in its usual 7pm time slot, with Declan Donnelly hosting by himself.

In a statement, the broadcaster said, “ITV can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later.”

Meanwhile in a statement posted on Twitter, Dec said: “Whilst I never thought I’d be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we’ve decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead.

“We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that. Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series.”

Whether McPartlin will still appear on the show in the prerecorded mini-series Saturday Knight Takeaway remains to be seen.

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McPartlin did a stint in rehab last year to recover from a prescription drug addiction he developed following a knee operation. He has now returned to rehab after he was arrested on suspicion of drink driving on Sunday afternoon.