After receiving a standing ovation from a packed audience on his arrival to the studio, Declan Donnelly nervously waved to the crowd and appeared to be holding back tears as he settled in for his first episode without Ant McPartlin, announcing in a jovial manner that he'd have "twice the work to do."
To be fair to Donnelly, he made a couple of jokes about the situation and even did the second half of the show in an empty studio before announcing things hadn't "gotten that bad yet", before explaining that it was the SMTV studio - where he and Ant first came to fame as presenters - that was shutting down. Just put things in perspective, this appearance marks the first time Declan Donnelly's appeared on television without Ant McPartlin in 29 years since their first on-screen debut on teen drama series Byker Grove.
Meanwhile, the Saturday Night Takeaway hashtag trended worldwide during the show, with many viewers and a few celebrities praising Donnelly's professionalism for going on without McPartlin.
— Zoe Ball (@ZoeTheBall) March 31, 2018
— Matt Edmondson (@MattEdmondson) March 31, 2018
— Jamie (@jmehough) March 31, 2018
There's one more episode scheduled for this season of Saturday Night Takeaway, and after that, the fate of the show remains to be seen. Presently, McPartlin is still in rehab and there's been no developments on that front. Whether ITV decide to move forward with Donnelly alone is also up in the air, but going by tonight, it looks like he's capable of doing so.