Dermot O’Leary: ‘If Ant and Dec win TV gong we may as well all give up’

Ant McPartlin may have been off our screens for nearly a year, but he is still in line for a TV award with Declan Donnelly.

The pair have been shortlisted for best presenter and if they win it will be the 18th time in succession.

But their nomination for the National Television Awards gong has not gone down well with ­everybody – as X Factor host Dermot O’Leary warned everyone else may as well give up if the pair triumph again.

He said: “If they win it, we should just not do it anymore. If they win it, having not been on television, we may as well just chuck in the towel.”

Ant only presented part of Saturday Night Takeaway and some Britain’s Got Talent ­auditions at the start of last year before going to rehab after his arrest for drink-driving.

The Chase star Bradley Walsh, chat show host Graham Norton, and This Morning’s Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield are also up for best presenter. Holly co-hosted I’m a Celebrity with Dec.

O’Leary, who will front next week’s awards show, added: “With the greatest respect to the boys, I think Holly has had such a great year, and Graham.”

Asked about Ant’s ­nomination, the 45-year-old replied: “They made the decision to put themselves up this year, so you’d have to ask him.”

But he added: “Most people just want to see Ant get better and then come back.”

Ant is due to return to work on Friday when ITV begin filming BGT auditions in London.

The 2019 NTA will be shown live on ITV from 7.30pm next Tuesday.

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