Ant McPartlin's estranged wife Lisa Armstrong has been axed from the upcoming series of Ant and Declan Donnelly's Saturday Night Takeaway, a new report has claimed. Armstrong had worked on earlier seasons of the ITV show with co-host Stephen Mulhern.
Armstrong, a freelance make-up artist, was reportedly not invited back over fears it would be too "awkward" for her to be working with McPartlin, 42, amid the couple's divorce proceedings after McPartlin announced the "end of his marriage" to the 41-year-old after 11 years earlier in January.
According to The Sun, the decision has been made by ITV bosses who feared her presence could make thinks "difficult". A source claimed, "Lisa was always very popular among the rest of the team, as well as very professional. But producers just felt having her back this year would be awkward."
The insider added, "She works with Stephen a lot and they're close, just as he's close with Ant and Dec. But because of the setup at the studios, it would be impossible for Lisa and Ant to avoid spending lots of time in the same room."
Calling it a "sensitive situation" for the former couple, the source said, "Ant would never have asked for her to leave but, in the circumstances, the production team just felt it could be difficult. So they felt they couldn't invite her back on. It's a very sensitive situation and show bosses didn't want to inflame it."
While Armstrong will not be working with Mulhern, who is on Saturday Night Takeaway alongside McPartlin, Declan Donnelly and Scarlet Moffatt, she is still working with the presenter on Britain's Got Talent spin-off Britain's Got More Talent.
Previously, a report in The Sun claimed that Britain's Got More Talent judges Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon had supported Lisa through the split while filming for the talent show.
A source claimed, "Despite being close pals with Ant, Amanda and Alesha have been a real support."
Back in January, the I'm A Celebrity presenter released a statement to announce the couple's split after being together for 23 years, out of which the couple were married for 11.
"In response to the recent speculation in the media, Ant is very sad to announce that, after 11 years, he is ending his marriage to Lisa McPartlin," the statement read.
"Ant asks for privacy at this difficult time, for both himself, Lisa and their immediate families. No further statement will be made," it concluded.