Dec admits he barely slept ahead of presenting Saturday Night Takeaway solo 4 months ago

Dec admits he barely slept ahead of presenting Saturday Night Takeaway solo

"I didn’t sleep an awful lot last night..."

Declan Donnelly thanked fans for their support after he hosted Saturday Night Takeaway without his longtime presenting partner, Ant McPartlin.

The 42-year-old admitted he had suffered a sleepless night before he hosted the game show solo for the first time.

When he walked onto the set last night, Dec appeared to be visibly nervous - but that soon began to fade away when he got a standing ovation from fans.

He tweeted late last night:

"Thanks for all your lovely messages tonight, they are VERY much appreciated, I’m glad you enjoyed the show.

"I didn’t sleep an awful lot last night so I’m off to bed! Night y’all. D x"

Dec earned praise from fans for hosting the show without his presenting partner of 29 years, Ant.

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The 42-year-old cancelled all of his television work and checked into rehab following his drink-driving charge last month.

Although, Ant did make a brief appearance in the show in a pre-recorded skit for the series, Saturday Knight Takeaway. 

Otherwise, Dec was supported in his first solo presenting gig by his costars Stephen Mulhern and Scarlett Moffat, both of whom had their roles expanded for the night.

There were a few nods to Ant's absence throughout the night, beginning with Dec joking he had "twice the work to do" during his opening monologue.

And during the Win The Ads segment, when the randomly selected audience member admitted she hadn't been following the news that week, Dec was quick to note: “For some us it’s been unavoidable.”

 Dec will be presenting the series finale of Saturday Night Takeaway solo next week, which will be filmed live in Florida.