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Friday 24th May 2019

Piers Morgan offers bold advice to Dec as Ant steps down from TV work

What happens to the Ant & Dec brand while Ant returns to treatment?

Piers Morgan has urged Declan Donnelly to continue his TV work without partner Ant McPartlin.

Ant, 42, is stepping down from his current TV commitments and returning to treatment after being arrested on suspicion of drink-driving on Sunday.

As a result, this weekend's Saturday Night Takeaway has been cancelled, while a decision has yet to be made on the final two episodes of the series.

The GMB team discussed Ant on Wednesday's episode (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Ant & Dec lose out on two TV awards as Dec skips ceremony

The new series of Britain's Got Talent is due to start next month, while I'm A Celebrity films later in the year.

Ant's decision to take a leave of absence from work has led everyone to wonder what Dec will do, as Ant & Dec have always been a partnership.

Last year, Ant checked himself into rehab to tackle an addiction to prescription painkillers brought on by a painful knee operation.

He and Dec were not filming any TV shows airing at the time and Ant returned to screens for I'm A Celebrity in November.

I think Dec is going through a real crisis himself now about what to do career-wise.

Ant and Dec on the set of Saturday Night Takeaway (Credit: Instagram @antanddecofficial)

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, Piers said he thinks Dec should carry on either solo or with a new TV partner.

"I think Dec is going through a real crisis himself now about what to do career-wise," said Piers.

"I honestly do think that old showbiz maxim, 'the show must go on'... even though they always agreed they wouldn't do it without each other, that's under normal circumstances.

Piers suggested Dec carry on without Ant (Credit: ITV)

"If one of the duo is going through such problems as Ant's been going through for such a sustained period of time, and now probably won't be on TV again this year, I suspect, what does Dec do?

"He has the rest of Takeaway coming up, you've got Britain's Got Talent, you've got I'm A Celebrity, does Dec have to come off TV as well?"

Ant & Dec vowed in their 2010 autobiography that they'd always work as a double act, but the GMB panel all suggested they couldn't have accounted for what is currently happening.

Piers suggested Ant gives his public blessing for Dec to continue (Credit: ITV)

Susanna Reid said: "I don't think they would take into account an illness."

Piers then suggested Ant should publicly give his blessing for Dec to continue working on their TV shows without him.

"I think if Ant were to say publicly 'the show must go on'... they have big teams of people working for them on these shows and their livelihoods are affected as well.

"I think that would be the right thing to do and Dec should carry on with somebody else if necessary."

Saturday Night Takeaway has been cancelled this weekend (Credit: ITV)

Piers went on to say: "You can see what's going through [Dec's] mind. He's devastated for his mate but he's also worried about the Ant & Dec brand, it's the biggest in the country on television.

"I think the time has come, given it's the second time around now in the last 18 months... it's not selfish but he has to look after himself, too. He's a very successful guy in his own right as well."

Piers concluded by saying: "I think it's perfectly reasonable to feel sorry for Ant on a human level. As a mate, I hate seeing him like this. It's awful.

"But there is also a point when a lot of other people are affected by this and I do think the show has to go on."

Piers is a friend of Ant's (Credit: ITV)

Ant was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving on Sunday afternoon following a collision in South West London.

He was released under investigation as inquiries continue.

Ant's publicist said in a statement: "Ant has decided to go back into treatment and step down from his current TV commitments.

"He has spoken with Dec and ITV today and asked for time off for the foreseeable future. As such, Saturday Night Takeaway will not be going ahead this Saturday."

Ant is taking time off for the 'foreseeable future' (Credit: Grant Buchanan / FameFlynet.uk.com)

An ITV spokesman said: "ITV has taken a joint decision with Ant and Dec’s team not to broadcast Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend.

"We will be reviewing options for the last two episodes of the series (March 31 and April 7) which would not feature Ant, who is taking time off to seek treatment.

"We very much hope that he gets the help that he needs."

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