'Can you all give a one round of applause for Ant' - Dec says Saturday Night Takeaway finale 'tinged with sadness'
Declan Donnelly has admitted the 'Saturday Night Takeaway' finale was "tinged with sadness".
The 42-year-old star fronted the last episode of the series from Orlando, Florida, without his presenting partner Ant McPartlin - who is taking a break to seek help for his problems after being arrested on suspicion of drink driving last month - and admitted it had been tough without him.
After the show finished, he told the live audience members: "Thanks for all the love and support, it's been a series tinged with... well..."
As he struggled to finish the sentence, one audience member shouted: "We miss Ant!"
Dec replied: "Yes, we do, we do. It's tinged with sadness. Can you all give a one round of applause for Ant who is at home."
The audience began to clap, and the clearly-moved star said: "Thank you so much, I know he will appreciate that a great, great deal."
Though Ant wasn't in Florida with Dec, show regulars Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern, or the 250 competition winners flown out to the US, he did still make an appearance on the show in the pre-recorded miniseries 'Saturday Knight Takeaway'.
And Dec looked "emotional" as he watched the footage - which saw Noel Edmonds revealed as the mysterious Overlord - from the side of the stage.
An onlooker told The Sun Online: "When Ant appeared in the comedy skit, Dec looked emotional as he watched on from the side of stage."
The presenter was also praised for the show opener, which saw Dec perform 'Everybody Needs Somebody', which many fans on Twitter believed to be a message of support for his troubled friend.