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Saturday Night Takeaway will return

It will be back next week despite Ant McPartlin's drink drive arrest.

Dec Donnelly will take the reins of the hugely popular entertainment show on March 31 and April 7, with co-stars Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffatt also appearing as usual.

ITV bosses met with Dec this morning to make a decision about the remaining episodes of the series, which had been flung into doubt after last Sunday's incident.

Executives were keen to keep the show on air, but agreed the decision would be left up to Dec who has never worked without his long-standing sidekick before.

The final episode of the series will still take place at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, where a string of prizes had been arranged for winning fans from throughout the series.

An ITV spokesman said: "We can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return to ITV on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later."

 

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.

"Dec x."

A source close to Ant and Dec said: "Dec will be presenting Saturday Night Takeaway solo. It's a tough decision but one he had to go through with so people weren't let down.

"Dec is speaking to Ant throughout this process.

"But obviously Dec is in a bad state of mind because this is a situation where there are no winners.

"Dec made the decision totally alone, with the full support of ITV."

The insider added: "Dec will be hosting the show on his own.

"But obviously there's the Takeaway family of Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffatt to provide him support and ensure he's not on his own."

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