After condemning Ant, 42, yesterday for his irresponsible behaviour, saying ‘you’re throwing away your career, you can’t afford many more headlines like this’, the outspoken host appears firmly behind Ant’s co-presenter that is also suffering.
Ant was arrested on Sunday afternoon after crashing his Mini that subsequently injured others and saw a three-year-old girl taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up. On Monday, after being released by police, a statement confirmed he was stepping away from TV and heading back to rehab.
Piers defended Dec, 42, after the Geordie’s co-host was arrested for causing the three-car smash-up: ‘It’s Dec I feel sorry for more than Ant because Ant is in control of his own behaviour and is making bad choices.’
‘Dec is the collateral damage. Dec has done nothing wrong yet his show is off air Saturday.’
Today on GMB, Piers, 52, went a step further and suggested that Dec must go on and not be punished as a result of someone else’s actions.
‘I honestly do think, the old showbiz maxim “the show must go on”, and even though they always agreed they wouldn’t do it without each other, that’s under normal circumstances,’ Piers said.
‘I think if one of the duo is going through such problems as Ant’s going through for such a sustained period of time, and now he won’t be on TV again this year I suspect, what does Dec do?’
‘You’ve got the rest of Takeaway, you’ve got Britain’s Got Talent coming up, you’ve got I’m A Celebrity, does Dec Donnelly just have to come off TV as well?’ Piers questioned.
Piers speculated that if Ant came out and told Dec to carry on without him, it’d be fine: ‘They’ve got big teams of people working for them on these shows, their livelihoods are affected as well, I think that would be the right thing to do.
‘I think Dec should carry on with somebody else if necessary,’ he concluded.
Richard Arnold brought up a quote from the boys’ autobiography released in 2010 where they allegedly ‘made a pact’ that neither star would go on without the other. But as GMB co-host Susanna Reid, 47, said, ‘these are perhaps different circumstances’ and Arnold further suggested it could happen ‘with Ant’s blessing.’
Dec, who has worked alongside Ant since first appearing in Byker Grove together as PJ and Duncan since they were 12, is reportedly ‘devastated’ by the events of the past few days, as he was seen out yesterday for the first time since Ant hit the headlines.