Simon Cowell paid tribute to Declan Donnelly during the "Britain's Got Talent" live final on Sunday (03.06.18).
The 42-year-old television presenter has been presenting the ITV talent show solo for the first time during the live semi finals and final after his presenting partner Ant McPartlin took time away from his work commitments to seek treatment after being arrested for drink driving in March.
Speaking during the final, Simon told Dec: "I just want to say, to you Dec, you have done an outstanding job this week."
Throughout the week of live shows, Dec had addressed Ant's absence multiple times, making jokes about the situation.
Introducing a pair of jazz singers, Dennis DeMillie and Marvin Muoneke, he quipped: "We start with two men who are absolutely inseparable. They're a double act everyone loved in the auditions and now they're back together for semi-final week. Must be nice."
And judge Amanda Holden was sure Dec would do a good job presenting on his own but insisted that Ant - who had made an appearance during the pre-recorded audition stages of the show - would "be missed".
Speaking to BANG Showbiz last month, she said: "I think he will be missed but I think Dec will do a sterling job. Alesha [Dixon] and I are on hand to step in. Mand and Dec has a good ring to it actually."
It was confirmed back in April that Dec would present the show by himself.
A statement from ITV said at the time: "Dec will be hosting the live shows which for the first time ever are coming from the Hammersmith Apollo while Ant steps down from his TV commitments for now. We send Ant all our love. And we know that Dec will do a brilliant job."