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Lisa Armstrong, Davina McCall support Dec's first solo Saturday Night Takeaway without Ant

A number of stars showed their support for Dec as he presented Saturday Night Takeaway alone

Hanna Fillingham

A host of Declan Donnelly's friends showed their support for the star following his first solo presenting gig without his best friend and co-star. Among those taking to Twitter on Saturday night were Lisa Armstrong, who liked a number of tweets praising Dec's efforts. These included a message from Coronation Street star Anthony Cotton, who wrote: "Tonight's episode of @itvtakeaway was a triumph. Bravo to Dec @antanddec. I've known those boys for 20 years, and they've been nothing but gorgeous to be friends with." Lisa also liked a tweet by Kate Thornton, which read: "A total masterclass in professionalism tonight from Dec – doing both of you proud @antanddec. Felt so emotional watching you fly solo x." Susanna Reid also praised Dec's performance, wriitng: "He's really easing into it and getting more comfortable as he realises how much the audience is with him." Davina McCall added: "What a show for Dec tonight on @itvtakeaway. It must have been so hard for him to do alone...but he smashed it! Well done Dec!" 

Dec presented his first ever solo Saturday Night Takeaway

Dec himself took to Twitter following the show, admitting that he "didn't sleep" in the lead up to it. The message – which was also liked by Lisa – read: "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." His wife, Ali Astall, also paid tribute to her husband in a rare tweet, writing: "I'm incredibly proud of my husband. I love you Dec." Throughout the programme Dec was supported by Davina McCall, Scarlett Moffatt and Stephen Mulhern, with the star addressing Ant's absence at the beginning of the show. "We have got a jam-packed show, this week we have lots to cram in and twice the amount of work to do," he joked.

RELATED: Dec jokes he has 'twice the work to do' as Saturday Night Takeaway returns to TV

The TV presenter took to Twitter afterwards to thank fans for their support

The recent headlines surrounding Ant's drink driving arrest were briefly touched upon by Dec halfway through the show as he spoke to a member of the audience taking part in the Win the Ads competition. "Have you watched the news this week?" he asked, to which they admitted they hadn’t. "Some of us couldn’t avoid it," he replied.

RELATED: All the times Ant and Dec have appeared on television separately

The show was adjusted following Ant's absence, and Scarlett and Stephen helped Dec give away Orlando plane tickets to audience members – a task which usually would have been done by Ant. The End of the Show Show was also performed by an ensemble, where Dec was joined by his fellow presenters as well as special guest Paloma Faith. There has been no word as to whether Ant and Dec will be returning to their upcoming projects, including the live shows for Britain's Got Talent and I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.

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