Ant and Dec are labelled ‘heroes’ as they present first Saturday Night Takeaway without live audience

Ant and Dec have been labelled heroes as they presented Saturday Night Takeaway without a studio audience for the first time ever.

The comedy duo were in high spirits as they kicked off the show on Saturday 21 March and did their usual routine of energetically going down the stairs where the audience are normally sat.

Declan Donnelly, 44, couldn’t help but poke fun at the odd situation as he pretended to high five the invisible studio audience members.

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Ant McPartlin, also 44, and his comedy partner Dec continued to keep up good spirits as they continued to present the show, which is usually heavily reliant on audience participation.

The pair’s fans rallied around to support them from afar as they tweeted their praise and love for Ant and Dec.

One wrote: “Have to hand it to @antanddec – the vibe of the show is set to feed off a live audience but like troopers they give us a sense of normality. Anyone with negative feedback needs to give some thought to how much worse we would feel without our favourite show #SaturdayNightTakeway”.

While another added: “@antanddec will forever be at the top of their game. well done for continuing on today guys and still being able to deliver a great show with no audience. we’re all watching, we love you!!”

And a third gushed: “@antanddec please don’t be nervous you guys are smashing it as always oh and I cried at the beginning love you both to the moon n back #SaturdayNightTakeway xxx” [sic]

While others thanked the pair for cheering them up after what has been a difficult week for many across the country.

Kerry Katona, who recently said supermarket workers stopped her from buying tissue, wrote: “@antanddec you guys are doing a great job… thank you for keeping us all entertained,” followed by two praying emojis and one kissing emoji.

While one fan said: “Thank you @antanddec @itvtakeaway I have already laughed more before your first ad break than I have in the whole of this week. Thank you xx”

As another wrote: “In these really weird times, credit to @antanddec for cheering us all up. Keeping #SaturdayNightTakeaway going is *just* what we needed.”

And a third branded the pair “heroes” as they wrote: “Omg [email protected] are absolute heroes! Their enthusiasm and love for what they do is second to none. Their professionalism is impeccable why oh why, is it making me emotional?!”

It comes hours after the pair, who’s Florida finale was forced to be cancelled over the coronavirus, appealed for their viewers support in a video shared on their Instagram.

The clip shows the pair speaking to the camera as Dec says: “Just getting ready for the show tonight – a show with a difference this week”.

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Dec then turns to Ant who adds: “Yes, no audience this week but we’re still gonna have a lot of fun. Do you know what’s coming up on the show tonight, Declan?”

To which Dec says: “Go on, hit me,” before Ant continues: “I will tell you, Joel Dommett is out star guest announcer, Stephen Mulheron is back for Ant vs Dec – he’s alright.

“We’ve got Bradley Walsh – he’s finally here! The undercover we’ve all been waiting for is here tonight.

“Men In Brown is back,” before Dec adds: “The second to last episode of Men In Brown and we don’t have a studio audience but we do have you at home!

“So, today, tonight, more than ever we want you to stay in touch with us on social media so keep your tweets and your Instagrams and everything else coming into us and let us feel the love here in the studio.”

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