Declan Donnelly says criticism 'stings' as he goes solo for Britain's Got Talent live shows

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Declan Donnelly has opened up about his live TV work ahead of going solo on Britain’s Got Talent.

Ant McPartlin announced earlier this year that he was taking time off “for the foreseeable future” to seek treatment after being charged with drink driving.

The move meant Dec, his best friend and presenting partner, has gone solo for the first time in the much-loved TV duo’s two-decade career.

Dec made his debut appearance without Ant on Saturday Night Takeaway and will return alone for the Britain’s Got Talent live shows.

ITV said Dec would host the semi-finals solo “while Ant steps down from his TV commitments for now”.

They added: “We send Ant all our love. And we know that Dec will do a brilliant job.”

Ahead of Monday’s first live show, Dec has spoken out about working on live TV and admitted: “You can’t do anything about live stuff once it’s done.”

He told The Sun’s TV Magazine: “At times the criticism stings, but not often. Usually it’s a case of: ‘Look at you with your 11 [Twitter] followers. You’re brave.’”

Dec also revealed how he and Ant were previously told to consider insurance in case one of them was unable to work.

“A couple of years ago our management said: ‘Have you considered key man insurance?” he said. “‘Because if something were to happen to the other one, your income would probably stop.’

“‘You’re not going to work on your own,’

“We were like: ‘What do you mean, not going to work on our own?!’ Then someone went: ‘No, no… or it’s just for some money to come in while you decide what to do.’ We preferred that version!”

Britain’s Got Talent 2018 airs live on ITV Monday-Friday next week following tonight’s final auditions.

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