Ant McPartlin decided to take a break away from his TV career this year due to personal problems, but what everyone wants to know is how is his co-star Declan Donnelly feeling about the situation? According to reports, the two presenters met up with one another this week for a serious discussion about their future careers. So, will Ant and Dec be going their separate ways from now onwards?
Earlier on in the year, Dec was forced to present the rest of Saturday Night Takeaway alone, when the news broke that Ant was being admitted to rehab. He is now also going to be presenting I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! without him, which will be the first time in the show’s history, and instead, Ant will be replaced by Holly Willoughby.
An insight into Ant’s turbulent year
Dec, 42, broke the news to fans that Ant wouldn’t be co-presenting alongside him this year on Twitter, back in March.
“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.”
Even then, there were concerns that Ant may never work in the public eye again and that the iconic presenting duo may be split forever.
A spokesperson at the time said: “Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments.”
Soon after, the star was involved in a drink-driving scandal in which he was discovered to be over double the legal limit. He was forced to pay what is believed to be Britain’s largest fine for such a crime, at a sum of £86,000.
In a statement to the police, he apologised for what he had done and also stated that he hopes he “might be forgiven by all the people he feels he has let down so terribly”. He also told police: “I am very sorry I did this. I am ashamed and mortified that this happened. I accept full culpability for this and wish to apologise to all those concerned.”
“I just want to say I’m truly sorry for what happened.” Ant said outside the court. “High standards are expected of me, I expect them of myself. I’ve let myself down, I let a lot of people down. And for that, I am truly sorry. I’d like to apologise to everybody involved in the crash and I’m just thankful no-one was seriously hurt.”
Ant didn’t show up to his final court hearing this week
The 43-year-old presenter was required to attend his very last court hearing last Monday for his divorce to Lisa Armstrong, however, he failed to show up which caused some chaos at the Royal Court of Justice.
According to court papers, the pair have divorced on the grounds of adultery and had been ‘negotiating a final settlement’ when it came to their assets. The papers declared that “the respondent has committed adultery and that the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent.”
His failure to show up in court made the judge, Mr Justin Mostyn announce to the court: “Why is he not here? There isn’t one law for the famous and one for the rest of the community. The rules say he was supposed to be here – and that can be reported. He has been told off.”
Representatives of Ant claimed that he had a perfectly good reason not to be in attendance: “Ant was advised by his media barrister that he didn’t need to attend court today. There was absolutely no intent to disrespect the court.”
Dec had ‘silent anger’ as he left ‘difficult’ meeting with Ant today
Now, fans are wondering whether there is any hope for Ant and Dec to be reunited on a professional level, as the two made their way to a serious meeting today.
A source said: “Ant’s wellbeing is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and he’s in a great place. But now they are trying to work out how his comeback will plan out and how everything will work.”
The meeting was thought to have lasted three hours, in which the pair and producers spoke about next year’s schedule. If all goes to plan, Ant may be ready to start filming again for Britain’s Got Talent at the beginning of next year.
Body language expert, Judi James told The Mirror that she wasn’t convinced the meeting had all gone to plan, in which they had both left ‘grim-faced’.
“We’re so used to seeing Ant and Dec grinning together like schoolboys that they appear almost unrecognisable in these grim-faced photos as they emerge from what have been described as crisis talks over their future together” she said.
“Dec’s body language signals hint at silent anger, frustration or anxiety…Ant looks equally miserable here but his facial expression and body positioning hints at something a bit more hang-dog or contrite.”
Stephen Mulhern has his say on the duo’s professional future
Friend and fellow presenter, Stephen Mulhern claimed that the pair could be reuniting in I’m A Celeb in 2019.
Talking to The Sun online, he said: “They haven’t said yet. I really hope it does because it’s such a good show and being part of it was an absolute result. I’ve got every single thing crossed that it does come back. Because it deserves to.”
“Ant and Dec came up with the idea for Saturday Night Takeaway. Then it just seemed to get momentum over the series. We only actually recorded four segments, which amounted to about 16 minutes in total.
“But for something that was so small, it seemed to play so big in the public. ITV said ‘listen it’s gone down so well, we think it should go down as a series. We made a pilot in Southend and they loved it, so then they commissioned an entire series which we’ve just finished doing.
“There are seven episodes, which will come out next year, and honestly I think it’s the best show I’ve ever, ever worked on.”