The singing competition allegedly only managed to receive 4.2 million views – just over half of Saturday Night Takeaway’s 8 million viewing average.
And with Declan Donnelly, 42, set to present the final two episodes of the series alone, it remains uncertain whether he’ll be able to have the same ratings pulling power without his presenting partner, Ant McPartlin, also 42.
Senior lecturer at Birmingham City University School of Media, Kelly O’Hanlon, has shared her thoughts on Dec going solo with the Daily Star Online.
“Unfortunately Dec could be collateral damage of some sort.”
Kelly O’Hanlon, Senior lecturer at Birmingham City University School of Media
She said: “Dec has enough charisma and status to do well but it is a bit like fish without the chips, it’s just not the same if one is missing.”
“Presenting pairs become famous as a duo so it can be hard to see them as individual stars worthy of our affection. It can feel like something is missing.
“Some TV duos such as Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins have been able to work as a pair and also be successful in their own right – taking on solo work and appearing on panel shows before coming back as a pair to reside over the Great British Bake Off, for instance.
“The transition wasn’t sudden and as a result, they are probably better known as two presenters who occasionally collaborate.
“In the case of Ant and Dec however, we have never seen them apart, so the idea of them going solo isn’t something we’re used to.
“They come as a pair and when Ant is in the firing line, unfortunately Dec could be collateral damage of some sort.”
Kelly thinks the only way Ant, who has been presenting with Dec for 30 years, can ensure another 30 years of success is to have a level of “honesty” with the public.
Referencing Robbie Williams who is now sober but has been open
“This makes him more endearing to the public.”
Ant recently checked into rehab for a second time following a stint last summer after he admitted being addicted to prescription drugs.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday at the time, Ant said: “I was at the point where anything – prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs – I would take.
PA/ FLYNET/ SPLASH NEWS
“And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, ‘You could have killed yourself’.”
Last week The Metropolitan Police confirmed he was charged with drink-driving and will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on April 4.
This follows Ant failing a roadside breathalyser test after allegedly smashing into the back of a car containing a family-of-three including a girl, three.
Days after the incident Ant’s publicist released a statement revealing that he’d be stepping down from his TV duties for the “foreseeable future”.
It 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.”
Following Ant confirming he would stepping down from TV for the time being, Dec who revealed he was expecting a child with his wife Ali Astall, 40, over the weekend said on Twitter: “Whilst I never thought I’d be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration…
“We’ve decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead.
“We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale and will honour that.
“Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series.”
Do you think Saturday Night Takeaway will be as entertaining without Ant? Let us know in our poll!