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Thursday 19th July 2018

Ant McPartlin arrives at court to face drink-drive charge

He was pictured arriving at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court

Ant McPartlin has arrived at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court to face a drink-drive charge.

The Saturday Night Takeaway presenter, 42, was arrested on Sunday, March 18 after allegedly being involved in a collision while driving in Richmond, London.

He had been scheduled to appear in court on April 4, but the hearing was adjourned until today.

Ant McPartlin pictured arriving at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Monday (Credit: Alex Huckle / Flynet - Splash News)

Ant was pictured arriving at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court in a black car shortly before his hearing was scheduled to begin. He was greeted with a sea of photographers.

After Ant was charged with drink-driving, ITV announced that his co-presenter Dec Donnelly would go on to present the end of the current series of Saturday Night Takeaway on his own.

Dec fronted the final two episodes solo, including the finale which was filmed at Universal Orlando Resort.

Ant has stepped down from current TV work as he returns to treatment.

Ant has stepped down from current TV commitments (Credit: Wenn)

His publicist said last month: "Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments. He has spoken with Dec and ITV and asked for time off for the foreseeable future."

It has been confirmed that Dec, 42, will present the upcoming Britain's Got Talent live shows by himself, while Ant steps away from the TV spotlight.

In a statement, ITV said: "Dec will be hosting the live shows which, for the first time ever, are coming from the Hammersmith Apollo while Ant steps down from his TV commitments for now."

Ant, pictured with Dec and the BGT judges in January, will feature in the pre-recorded auditions episodes of the show (Credit: Aaron Parfitt / Flynet - SplashNews)

Ant will appear in the pre-recorded auditions episodes of BGT, which began on Saturday night on ITV.

The new series launched with 8.3 million viewers – down on last year.

ITV said the show, in which the judges and presenters were wowed by a magician, was the most-watched programme of the night.

Dec recently hosted Saturday Night Takeaway's last two episodes of the series solo, including the finale live from Florida (Credit: ITV)

But it is a drop from the 2017 opener, which was watched by 8.7 million, with a 42% audience share.

Saturday night’s show, featuring Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Amanda Holden returning as judges, had a 41% share and an audience peak of 9.6 million viewers.

ITV said Saturday's Britain’s Got Talent instalment was the most-watched entertainment show of the year so far and that it was the most popular programme on any channel so far this year for 16 to 34-year-olds.

Last year' series culminated with pianist Tokio Myers being crowned the champion.

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