Dec will be presenting Saturday Night Takeaway without Ant this Easter weekend, but the ITV star is set to have plenty of help from Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern.
Show regulars Moffatt and Mulhern are set to have ‘expanded’ roles on the first episode of Saturday Night Takeaway without Ant McPartlin, RadioTimes.com understands.
An ITV source said that viewers can expect to see the pair together helping out Dec in the upcoming episodes, including seeing them in the audience giving away places on the plane to Orlando, Florida – a role Ant would previously have filled.
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The End of the Show Show is also set to be a more “ensemble” performance, with Dec being joined by the other show regulars and special guest Paloma Faith for the Saturday Night Takeaway climax.
However, Ant will still feature in pre-recorded segments, and the show’s opening titles featuring both Ant and Dec will remain unchanged, RadioTimes.com understands.
ITV pulled last Saturday’s episode of Saturday Night Takeaway following Ant McPartlin’s arrest on suspicion of drink driving, but the broadcaster later confirmed that the remaining two episodes would go ahead with Dec presenting alone.
Dec said in a statement, “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.”
McPartlin was charged with drink driving following a collision in south-west London on Sunday 18th March. The presenter will not appear in any of the live studio sections of Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend, having previously confirmed that he would be stepping back from current TV commitments and returning to rehab.
The upcoming episode, broadcast this Saturday 31st March at 7pm on ITV, will still include popular features including Win the Ads, only this time presented by Dec on his own.
There will be no undercover pranks or ‘Get Me Out of Ear!’, but an ITV source explained that neither of these features were originally planned for the episode.
The Office star Stephen Merchant will be Saturday Night Takeaway’s celebrity guest announcer, while musical guests include The Script for Singalong Live and Paloma Faith, who will be the star in the End of the Show Show.
The penultimate episode will also feature a farewell to the show’s London Studios home. This will be the last episode of Saturday Night Takeaway filmed in the premises before the building is closed for renovation.