ITV drop Saturday Night Takeaway from weekend schedules

The live entertainment show has been pulled from the ITV schedules following host Ant McPartlin’s alleged ‘drink drive’ smash yesterday.

Ant McPartlin (left) with co-star Declan Donnelly (right), ITV personalities.

Ant McPartlin won’t be appearing on ITV this weekend as the live Saturday Night Takeaway programme is taken off-air following the 42-year-old’s car accident yesterday. In a statement, ITV said they would not be putting the live show out, which is broadcast from their Southbank Studios in London. The broadcaster also noted that the following two remaining editions of the series were still under review, although it is clear if they did air Ant would not be part of the programme. The edition due to air on April 7th was also to be a landmark in ITV broadcasting history; the final major production to air live from the Southbank ITV centre, which is due to be demolished later this year. The building opened in 1972 as the London Weekend Television HQ.

In a statement on behalf of McPartlin and his co-host Declan Donnelly, it was noted today:

“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.”

Showbiz pals have spoken out in support of the star, who found fame as a teenager on the BBC’s Byker Grove children’s drama, along with many viewers of the Ant and Dec programmes. However, drink drive victims and campaigners have been unimpressed with support for anyone who takes to driving while drunk. It is noted by Drink Driving.org that between 1979 and 2014 an average of 940 people were killed in a drink driving related accidents in Great Britain each year while an average of 3,681 people were seriously injured. The organisation also notes approximately 85,000 people are convicted of drink driving every year.

Related Story: ATV Showbiz: Ant McPartlin arrested following car crash

Saturday Night Takeaway was due to ‘close’ the ITV London Studios live entertainment era in April, this finale is now in doubt.

The car incident as reported by Sky News noted that ‘TV star Ant McPartlin has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after a crash in southwest London.’ the news channel noted that the presenter, singer and actor was involved in a collision with two other vehicles while at the wheel of his mini. The incident is reported to have happened just before 4pm in Richmond on Sunday. A child passenger in one of the cars also a mini was taken to hospital as a precaution. She is believed to be a three-year-old girl.’ Sky News added. Other casualties from the alleged drink-drive incident were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

McPartlin failed a roadside breath test police note and was arrested at the scene of the car crash. It is also reported his mother had been in the car at the time of the incident.

McPartlin was released by police earlier today pending further investigation into the crash. It’s the lastest in a recent run of tabloid headlines for the North-East born Britain’s Got Talent presenter following a spell in rehab last year to beat an addiction to painkillers, while earlier this year he announced he was divorcing his wife of eleven years, BBC make-up artist, Lisa Armstrong.

The Voice UK will move into the Saturday Night Takeaway slot at 7pm with a repeat of Keith Lemon’s Through The Keyhole filling the later gap in the schedule.

‘This Ant McPartlin was not the guy I know. Even if you really like Ant, he could have killed people.’ – Piers Morgan on GMB

Saturday Night Takeaway recently celebrated its 100th episode.

Last updated: Monday, March 20th 11.30am with Piers Morgan quote.

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