Ant McPartlin goes back into treatment

Ant McPartlinImage copyright
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Saturday Night Takeaway will not air this weekend as co-host Ant McPartlin returns to treatment, ITV has said.

It follows his arrest on suspicion of drink driving in south-west London on Sunday afternoon.

No decisions have been made about the final two episodes of the show, due to be broadcast on 31 March and 7 April, but they will not feature McPartlin.

His publicist said he was taking time off “for the foreseeable future”.

Orlando finale

McPartlin’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.”

The final episode of the award-winning series was due to be broadcast live from Universal Orlanda Resort, with 200 fans of the show flying out in a specially-chartered plane.

Star guests have also been lined up for the finale. It follow’s last year’s series final, filmed at Disneyworld in Florida.

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Getty Images

Image caption

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have been presenting together for many years

McPartlin was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after a collision involving three vehicles on Sunday afternoon.

Police said a 42-year-old man was arrested at the scene after failing a roadside breathalyser test.

He was taken to a south London police station for questioning before being released under investigation on Monday.

A child passenger in one of the cars was taken to hospital for a check-up as a precaution, the Metropolitan Police added.

‘Reviewing options’

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.”

McPartlin, who co-hosts several ITV shows with Declan Donnelly, including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, confirmed in January he was divorcing his wife of 11 years, Lisa Armstrong.

The Bafta-winning star spent two months in rehab last year after admitting to a painkiller and alcohol addiction.

He said the addiction stemmed from a painful knee operation in 2015.

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