Ant and Dec: Suzuki ends advertising campaign after drink-drive charge

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Ant and DecImage copyright PA

Suzuki has axed TV adverts featuring Ant and Dec after Ant McPartlin was charged with drink driving.

The car firm will still sponsor the last two episodes of the series of ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway, but the duo will not appear in its commercials.

“No further material featuring the duo will be aired and Suzuki’s endorsement deal with the pair has come to an end,” the company said in a statement.

Mr McPartlin was charged following a collision in London on Sunday.

After his arrest, his publicist said he would be taking time off from his TV commitments “for the foreseeable future” and would seek further treatment.

This weekend’s edition of Saturday Night Takeaway has been cancelled as a result.

The Suzuki statement said: “We agree with ITV and Ant & Dec that it was the correct decision not to broadcast Saturday Night Takeaway this weekend.

Image copyright Getty Images

“As a car brand, we recognise the seriousness of Ant’s charge. We completely support Ant’s decision to seek treatment.

“Suzuki will however continue to sponsor the last two episodes of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway with our current idents.

“Suzuki very much supports Dec and ITV’s decision to broadcast the shows and as headline sponsors we also want to support the competition winners who have won places on the plane to Florida for the series finale.”

The final two episodes of the programme, which will air on 31 March and 7 April, will now be presented solo by Declan Donnelly.

The finale is due to be broadcast live from Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, with 200 fans of the show flying out in a specially-chartered plane.

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, which features stunts, sketches and celebrity guests, is presented and produced by the duo. It has won three Baftas, and the pair also won three prizes at this year’s National Television Awards.

Suzuki’s deal with Ant and Dec saw it sponsor Saturday Night Takeaway, and Takeaway’s production teams and writers also produced ads featuring the duo for Suzuki.

The two-year deal was signed in December 2015 and was worth an estimated £20m, according to trade publication Campaign.

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