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Sunday 9th August 2020

Saturday Night Takeaway ratings for Dec's solo show revealed

There were plenty of bums on seats

Last night's episode of Saturday Night Takeaway marked television history – for the first time in a presenting career spanning three decades, Declan Donnelly hosted without Ant McPartlin.

Dec presented alone for the first time in his TV career (Credit: ITV)

The huge publicity around – and ensuing curiosity about – Dec's one-man show, plus a rainy Easter evening, conspired to guarantee some impressive ratings figures.

According to TV sources – and confirmed by ITV – the penultimate episode of the series pulled in 8.6 million viewers at its peak, with a 39% audience share!

The show's 7.7 million average was 400,000 viewers up on the previous outing two weekends ago, although there was a 100K shortfall on the series high, when Takeaway celebrated its 100th episode.

This figure will doubtless come as music to the ears of ITV executives, who took the difficult decision, alongside Dec, to proceed with the run without Ant.

Ant was absent from the show - apart from pre-records (Credit: ITV)

Dec's buddy wasn't completely missing from the 90-minute show however – Ant still appeared in the pre-recorded skit Saturday Knight Takeaway.

Dec suffered a touch of the nerves (Credit: ITV)

Viewer reaction to the episode was overwhelmingly positive, with people flooding social media with messages of support for Dec, who initially appeared understandably nervous in the early stages of the broadcast.

Indeed, once he came off air, he admitted to suffering a pretty sleepless night...

But many agreed he had absolutely smashed the gig alone.

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