Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway: Declan Donnelly looks sombre as he rehearses without Ant McPartlin for first time... while Florida set is prepared for final show
Declan Donnelly looked sombre as he headed to Saturday Night Takeaway rehearsals alone on Friday ahead of his first show presenting without side-kick Ant McPartlin.¬†
As finishing touches are being put in place on the set in Florida, the 42-year-old presenter took care of things across the pond, heading to the ITV studios.¬†
Viewers have been quick to rally round the star, with some telling the Geordie host the 'whole nation was rooting' for him, after he took to Twitter to tell fans that he was hard at work rehearsing.¬†¬†
Flying solo:¬†Declan Donnelly looked sombre as he headed to Saturday Night Takeaway rehearsals alone on Friday ahead of his first show presenting without side-kick Ant McPartlin
Eye-opening:¬†Impressive pictures reveal the stage under construction at the Universal Resort in Orlando, Florida outside of the iconic Hard Rock caf√©
Dec wrote on the social media site: 'Back in studio today preparing your #SaturdayNightTakeaway for tomorrow night. Have a great Good Friday! D x'
Despite featuring the show hashtag, fans noticed the typical¬†Ant and Dec emoji was missing, in light of his co-star's absence.
As he headed to the studios on Friday, Dec kept his head down and seemed pensive, no doubt deep in thought as he prepares to host without Ant for the first time.¬†
Also seen at the studios was Stephen Mulhern, who will also appear on Saturday's show in a supporting role alongside Scarlett Moffatt.¬†
Hard at work:¬†As finishing touches are being put in place on the set in Florida, the 42-year-old presenter took care of things across the pond, heading to the ITV studios
Thinking:¬†As he headed to the studios on Friday, Dec kept his head down and seemed pensive, no doubt deep in thought as he prepares to host without Ant for the first time
Suited and booted: Dec looked smart for rehearsals in a navy suit and crisp white shirt¬†
Surrounded: Dec was flanked by the crew of the ITV show as he prepared to start rehearsals¬†
Chatting away: The star was no doubt receiving some tips and directions from the crew¬†
Chirpy: Dec still seemed eager to chat and was seen enjoying some time with the crew¬†
Meanwhile, impressive pictures have revealed the stage for the series finale - hosted in Florida - is under construction.
An eye-catching blue, red and gold archway has been set up at the site, among camera equipment, ahead of the show's grande finale at the Universal Resort in Orlando, Florida outside of the iconic Hard Rock caf√©.
But ITV bosses are said to be panicking about how they handle Ant's absence as Dec prepares to present the show solo.
A television insider told The Sun: 'Explaining Ant‚Äôs absence has been the hardest part of planning. The bosses are torn in regards to how they can hit the right tone.
Supportive role:¬†Also seen at the studios was Stephen Mulhern, who will also appear on Saturday's show in a supporting role alongside Scarlett Moffatt
Listening intently: Stephen is no doubt also feeling differently at the prospect of a show without his friend Ant McPartlin¬†
'They want to be respectful to people involved in Ant‚Äôs car accident, while not bringing down the mood of the show.
'Takeaway is all about having fun and they fear a sombre start may seriously effect the quality of the output.'
Elsewhere, social media is awash with support for Dec¬†following Ant admitting himself to rehab after being charged with drink-driving.
Flying solo: Declan Donnelly took to Twitter on Friday to tell fans he was busy rehearsing the upcoming show in the ITV studios
Set up:¬†An eye-catching blue, red and gold archway has been set up at the site, among camera equipment, ahead of the show's grande finale
One wrote: 'I'm so proud of you, Declan. You can do this and we'll all be here cheering you on. I love so much.'
Another typed: 'Happy Easter to you and Ali. I hope you both have a lovely Easter. I can't wait for the show tomorrow night. Don't worry about a thing Dec we are all behind you and you got our love and support. You will do Ant and everyone proud. You can do it Dec! Xxx'
'Looking forward to it.. take care.. oh noticed the #SaturdayNightTakeaway emoji has now gone,' said another viewer, while another fan added: '¬†Will be cheering you on Dec!'.
New challenge:¬†Viewers were quick to rally round the 42-year-old, telling the Geordie host the 'whole nation was rooting' for him
His tweet comes after a new trailer for the show was released showing a snippet of Dec hosting the show without his partner.
Scarlett Moffatt stars in the trailer as an air hostess on a Virgin Atlantic flight and while she guides the passengers to look at their screens, a scene showing Dec alone on stage is shown - ahead of the weekend's show without rehab-dwelling Ant.
Taking to the skies in the well-known red uniform, Scarlett is seen running through pre-flight instructions with a number of partying passengers, yet fans will undoubtedly watch with a heavy-heart as Ant's absence looms. ¬†
Hosting duties: Dec wrote on the social media site: 'Back in studio today preparing your #SaturdayNightTakeaway for tomorrow night. Have a great Good Friday! D x'
Good luck! Hundreds of fans commented on the post to provide the television personality some much needed support
Scarlett was seen joking around as a cabin crew member while instructing the plane to remain calm, before showing just a brief snippet of Dec on stage alone. ¬†
The trailer comes amid reports both Scarlett and co-star Stephen Mulhern will have 'expanded' roles on Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend.
A source told Radio Times¬†that Scarlett, 27, and Stephen, 40, will be involved in handing out prizes to audience members, a role previously filled by Ant, 42, before he entered rehab as a result of his drink-drive arrest.
Scarlett was originally involved on Saturday Night Takeaway as a roving reporter, surprising contestants and joining audience members on The Best Seats In The House.¬†
No sign: A new trailer for Saturday Night Takeaway sees a snippet of Declan Donnelly hosting the show without Ant¬†
Meanwhile Stephen presented Ant vs Dec, as well as his own segment In For A Penny In For A Grand, challenging members of the public in a bid to win ¬£1,000.
But following Ant's 'indefinite' break from the show, the duo will reportedly take on more involvement in the live show, helping to award places on the plane to members of the public in The Happiest Minute Of The Week.
A representative for ITV declined to comment to MailOnline.¬†
Working hard!¬†The trailer comes amid reports both Scarlett and co-star Stephen Mulhern will have 'expanded' roles on Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend, as Dec prepares to host solo for the first time
There will also reportedly be no on-screen pranks or I'm A Celebrity Get Out Of Me Ear! on this weekend's show, but the source added this was planned and not a result of recent changes.
It was reported on Monday that Ant will make an appearance on this week's show, after producers decided the pre-recorded Saturday Knight Takeaway sketch segments will air as planned.
According to The Sun, a source said that ITV bosses decided to air the final two episodes of the mini-series, which has featured appearances from Joanna Lumley, Emilia Fox and Michael Sheen.
Having a laugh: The Geordie beauty proved the show must go on as she hit the aisles with a beaming look on her face¬†
The source said:¬†'After a lot of soul searching it was decided that the final two episodes should run because viewers have loved the series and want to find out the conclusion in the final two episodes' of the mini-series.
'Obviously it means Ant will still be on the show in some form.'
It was confirmed last week that the remaining two episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway would go ahead, following Ant's departure from the show to enter a treatment centre.¬†
In a statement Dec told fans: 'Whilst I never thought I'd be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we've decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead.
'We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that.¬†
'Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series.'
Saturday Night Takeaway returns on Saturday 31st March at 7pm on ITV
Going ahead: Ant will reportedly make an appearance on the show this Easter Weekend, as producers decided to air the pre-recorded Saturday Knight Takeaway segment
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