Dec to present Britain’s Got Talent live shows without Ant

Declan Donnelly will present Britain’s Got Talent live shows solo for the first time.

The presenter, 42, will continue without on-screen partner Ant McPartlin, who has stepped down from his TV commitments, ITV confirmed on Tuesday.

Declan Donnelly is to host without Ant McPartlin

Declan Donnelly is to host without Ant McPartlin

McPartlin, 42, missed the final two episodes of his and Donnelly’s Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway after being charged with drink driving last month.

The move was confirmed at a preview screening of the show’s first episode by ITV’s head of entertainment Siobhan Greene.

READ MORE: Saturday Night Takeaway prize winners praise Dec for ensuring show goes on

She said: “We send Ant all our love ... and we know that Dec will do a brilliant job.”

McPartlin will feature in the Britain’s Got Talent audition stages which start this weekend and were recorded in January.

The duo have fronted BGT since its inception in 2007 and have a golden buzzer option on the show which allows them to send an act directly to the competition’s live semi-final.

“Dec will be hosting the live shows which for the first time ever are coming from the Hammersmith Apollo while Ant steps down from his TV commitments for now,” Ms Greene added.

Last year there were six live episodes throughout one week with the first live semi-final airing on May 29.

READ MORE: Susan Dalgety: Why Ant McPartlin deserves sympathy – and justice

It comes days after Donnelly presented the finale of Saturday Night Takeaway alone, which he said had been “tinged with sadness” due to the absence of his TV partner of almost 30 years.

He also asked for a round of applause for McPartlin, adding: “He’ll appreciate that.”

McPartlin was charged by postal requisition on March 21 after allegedly being involved in a collision with two other cars while he was driving his Mini in Richmond, west London, on March 18.

The TV presenter was due to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on April 4, but the hearing was adjourned to April 16, a spokeswoman for the court said.