'Devastated' Declan Donnelly seen for first time since Ant McPartlin arrest

Mike P Williams
Contributor
Dec (left) was spotted for the first time on Tuesday since his presenting partner’s arrest for drink-driving in south-west London. (FlyNet/PA)

Declan Donnelly was spotted on Tuesday for the first time since his presenting partner Ant McPartlin’s drink-driving arrest.

Dec, 42, was pictured walking in west London two days after the head-on crash which left his lifelong friend’s career in the balance and primetime sponsors threatening to walk away from the duo.

Dec has yet to comment publicly on his friend’s arrest, as McPartlin, 42, faced showdown talks with ITV bosses, having re-admitted himself to rehab in the aftermath of the collision.

This weekend’s Saturday Night Takeaway has already been officially cancelled by ITV, with the final two episodes of the series still in limbo.

Declan Donnelly seen for the first time since Ant’s arrest. (Flynet)
Dec, 42, pictured with his wife Ali Astall, has yet to comment publicly on his longtime friend’s arrest. (FlyNet)

The pictures emerged as fellow presenters gave their support to the troubled star, including Piers Morgan, who said McPartlin ‘can’t afford many more headlines like this.’

Ant was arrested on Sunday afternoon after smashing his car into another, as his mum and Labrador were both with him.

A three-year-old girl was taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up and others received minor injuries from the accident.

A statement on behalf of Ant read: ‘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.’

He was breathalysed at the scene by South London Police and was subsequently taken into custody after failing it.

A statement from the Met Police read: ‘Police in Richmond were called to Lower Richmond Road, SW14 at 15:59hrs on Sunday, 18 March following reports of a road traffic collision involving three vehicles.

‘Officers, London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade attended.

Declan Donnelly seen for the first time since Ant’s arrest. (Flynet)
Dec cut a sombre figure on Tuesday as his presenting partner’s career remained in the balance. (FameFlyNet)
Fellow presenters have said that McPartlin, left, must ‘take responsibility for his action’ following the crash. (PA)

‘A number of individuals were treated at the scene for minor injuries only. A child passenger from one of the cars has been taken to hospital for a check up as a precaution.

‘A 42-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drink-driving after failing a roadside breathalyser test.

‘He has been taken to a south London police station for questioning. Enquiries continue. Roads are expected to reopen shortly.’

Since then, the telly icon has said he’d be going back into rehab and has received both support and criticism from both ITV and TV faces like Piers Morgan and Phillip Schofield.

Damage: One of the vehicles which McPartlin struck during the collision in south-west London. (Flynet)
Destruction: A vehicle hit by McPartlin’s car was left with a heavily smashed bumper. (FlyNet)
McPartlin on ITV’s ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ last weekend, in his most recent TV appearance. (Rex)

ITV since issued the following statement in support of the star and to clarify that this week’s programme on Saturday, 25 March would not be happening:

‘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 which would not feature Ant who is taking time off to seek treatment.

McPartlin and Donnelly, who launched their careers as pop duo ‘PJ and Duncan’ both received an OBE last January for services to Broadcasting and Entertainment. (SWNS)

‘We very much hope that he gets the help that he needs.’

The Mini the I’m A Celeb presenter was driving doesn’t paint a good picture, after the extent of the damaged vehicle can be seen below.

Dec has not made an official comment as of yet, but a source close to him says he’s ‘devastated.’

‘He’s just really upset about it all just on so many levels – gutted and worried about Ant obviously and devastated he’s going back to rehab.  But he’s also worried about the future of Ant and Dec,’ according to the Sun.

Read more:

Royal society brands Harry and Meghan movie ‘filthy’ and ‘perverse’
Ant McPartlin enters rehab and cancels Saturday Night Takeaway
Piers Morgan makes crass #MeToo joke on GMB

 

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