Stephen Mulhern opened up about his illness and his absence from our television screens as he returned to Saturday Night Takeaway. He told the audience: ‘Seriously, I haven’t been too good’ as he took the stage with Ant and Dec for the first time since the first episode of the ITV programme.
Fans of ITV’s hit Saturday night show with Ant and Dec were delighted to see the presenter of the comedy duo back on screen tonight. The popular London-born presenter, comedian and magician, 44, had missed the final episodes of the series due to illness, with doctors advising him to rest and recuperate at home.
In a Twitter post on March 12, Stephen said: “Hello everyone, sorry I’ve been quiet here [social media] recently and thank you for all your lovely messages. I had time off and rested on doctor’s orders. I’m on the mend, happy to say, and looking forward to getting back to work soon. In the meantime, I’m going to put my feet up and watch Saturday Night Takeaway tonight with the rest of you. Please don’t miss me too much! Lots of love, Stephane. X”
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Tonight he hosted an Ant vs Dec match in the dark, which saw the Geordie duo fight their way to a dark room. And Stephen looked healthy after being ordered by doctors to take a break from TV work.
Addressing his illness, Ant asked, “Stephen, we haven’t seen you since the show started. Where have you been?”
Stephen joked, “When your private jet breaks down in Hollywood, what can you do?!” He then opened up about his illness, telling viewers, “No, seriously, I haven’t been very well. Thank you for all your lovely messages.”
The Catchphrase presenter added: “Enough about all that now because the show has to go on!” Ant then told her, “We are delighted to have you and the public back.”
Stephen’s return was confirmed by Ant and Dec on their Twitter page today (Saturday March 26). Shortly after 2 p.m., the pair shared a short video clip of them running around the television studios where the series is filmed, telling the crew “Saturday Night Take Away is back tonight.” At three different points in the clip, the pair can be seen backstage in their dressing room with Stephen – subtly telling us he’s on set ready to return for tonight’s episode.
ITV had also confirmed that Stephen, who also presents Catchphrase and Celebrity Catchphrase and was often seen on children’s television in the mid to late 2000s, would make a return tonight. An ITV spokesperson said: “Stephen Mulhern is back with the all new Ant vs Dec and Michael Bublé will be with us for a very special end to the show.”
Stephen has yet to share publicly what he is suffering from, but a source reportedly told The Sun on Sunday earlier this month that Stephen had to undergo surgery. The source was quoted as saying: “Stephen went to the hospital for a medical procedure, but he is now out and focusing all his energy on his recovery. He hopes to return to the show as soon as he feels better and well enough. He is currently resting and supporting the guys back home.”
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