BRITAIN’s Got Talent’s launch has become the most watched TV show of the year, as viewers emotionally welcomed Ant McPartlin’s return after a difficult year off.
Ant was reunited with his side-kick Declan Donnelly for Saturday night’s series 16 opener – and the stats show he’s clearly been missed by the British public.
The talent show has recorded the highest audience figures of the year, peaking with a massive 9.7 million viewers, and a 50% share of the viewings.
It drew an average of 8.3million viewers, overtaking Line of Duty season 5 opener last Sunday which drew in an average 7.8 million.
The BBC police drama had been holding the year’s top spot.
Ant, 43, missed the live shows of the 2018 series after stepping back from his TV commitments following his drink drive arrest last March, leaving Dec, also 43, to present them alone for the first time in the show’s history.
The Geordie favourite took the rest of the year off to focus on his health and wellbeing but finally returned to our screens yesterday, with fans were delighted to see the duo back together.
Taking to Twitter, one wrote: “Aww missed Ant…..glad he’s back @antanddec @BGT.”
Another added: “I’m so happy Ant is back!!!!! It wasn’t the same without you.”
The programme also showed the thrilled reaction of the audience when Ant and Dec stepped back on stage for the first time.
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Speaking about Ant’s return ahead of the show, his BGT co-star, comedian David Walliams, said: “It was lovely to see when they stepped back on the stage in London, how excited people were to see them together.
“It was really emotional and I was pleased for them. It was just how it always was.”
Amanda Holden also revealed the “sweet moment” when he returned to the programme at the auditions.
Speaking to The Sun, she said: “There’s a very sweet moment where a little girl in Ant’s arms says, ‘I missed ya,’
“He’s like, ‘I missed you too pet, I missed you too.’”
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