It’s been an undeniably tough year for Ant McPartlin, who has stepped back from his TV career after a drink-drive crash left him facing court charges – and another stint in rehab.

But despite TV pal Dec holding down the fort perfectly in his absence, it seems there will always be a place for Ant on his regular shows.

Simon Cowell – who employs the popular duo for Britain’s Got Talent – has recently shared whether or not Ant will be back to star on the show next year. And it seems he’s in full support of the star, revealing his hopes to bring him back for the 2019 series.

Of Ant’s troubles, he confessed, “He’s not a bad person. He’s not the only person there’s things happen to. He’s in the public eye. It’s a wake-up call. It’s as simple as that. Maybe the pressure was more than I realised.”

Media mogul Simon went on to reveal that he’s ‘certain’ Ant will return to BGT next year, after an extended break off-screen.

“I will support Ant when he comes back. He’s taken a step back because his health is way more important than a TV show. We want him back. I’m almost certain he’ll be back next year. And we want him back.”

58-year-old Simon Cowell also shared that there will be “psychiatrists and things” on hand for Ant when he returns to the day job.

Simon has also been pretty vocal in his support for Dec too – who has hosted both BGT and Saturday Night Takeaway solo in Ant’s absence. He said, “Dec has been unbelievable. I have tremendous respect for him. He’s been a revelation.”

He also praised Dec live on air during BGT’s final on Sunday night. As the show drew to a close, he grabbed the mic, saying, “I want to say to you, Dec, you have done an outstanding job this week. Seriously, thank you.”

Since BGT’s live shows began, fans have also flocked to social media to praise cheeky chappy Dec for his solo performance. One viewer wrote, ‘How comfortable has Declan been on the live shows 👏 Still prefer Ant & Dec. But Declan has shown what a pro he is.’

And another agreed, ‘what a awesome job Dec is doing on his own. Well done Dec 😀👏👏 @antanddec’.

We couldn’t agree more – go Dec!