Ant, 42, has released a statement explaining the decision to The Sun following his recent rehab stint.
He said: “My recovery is going very well and for that to continue having spoken to Dec and ITV, I have made the decision to take the rest of the year off.
“I’d like to thank both Dec and ITV for their continued support and I look forward to getting back to work in the new year.”
It is believed pre-production work would normally have started by now, but staff were told today the series would be pushed back by 12 months.
A source added to the publication: “Takeaway airs in February, but many viewers may not realise that the filming for the sketches and the preparation begins six months earlier which is too soon for Ant.
“Sadly that means they have had to tell the production team today that they’re going to have to push the next run back until the following year.
“It’s a show they’re hugely passionate about personally and they’re extremely close to the team involved too but everyone understands that this is a decision which hasn’t been taken lightly and are supportive.
“They all wish him the very best,” the insider explained.
This follows the news Ant McPartlin will not return to the Australian jungle to film I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! later this year.
Dec, 42, confirmed to the publication he will fly to the outback in order to film the show.
However, it is not currently known whether he will host the ITV reality show alone or with another presenter.
Dec said: “Whilst I am obviously sad at the thought of being without my best friend in Australia this year, I am proud of the work Ant has been doing privately and I am fully supportive of his decision.
“I’m looking forward to us both being reunited on screen in 2019.”
Earlier this year, and ITV boss confirmed Ant would return to the channel.
Carolyn McCall previously said he would be welcome back when he felt “well and fit enough” to come back.
The executive added to ITV News: “We wish Ant well. Clearly, he won’t come back a moment too soon.
“So I mean he will come back when he’s well and when is ready to come back and ITV will not be putting him under any pressure to come back unless he’s well and fit enough to come back.”
When questioned if he would be returning to the channel, Carolyn replied: “As far as I know that is true.”
It is not known when Ant will return to the channel.
ANT AND DEC: THREE FACTS
Saturday Night Takeaway first aired on ITV on June 8 2002 but Ant and Dec began working with each other in 1989 on Byker Grove when Ant joined the cast as PJ. Dec joined the show a year earlier as Duncan.
Speaking about how their partnership flourished, Ant told the Daily Mail: “It just happened immediately. We clicked. We’d spend all day making each other laugh and annoying everyone and quoting Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer lines to each other.”
The pair always stand a certain way when presenting the ITV show. Ant always stands on the left and Dec always stands on the right. The reason behind this is down to the order their names are said in.
Dec commented: “It feels odd if I go on the other side. Even if we’re just at home watching TV. Or driving to work – Joe, our driver, takes us everywhere and we always sit this way round in the back. I’d never sit in Ant’s seat!”
Little Ant and Dec
Ant and Dec have had two sets of mini me presenters on Saturday Night Takeaway. James Palmister and Dylan McKenna-Redshaw were the first Little Ant and Dec to appear on the ITV show. They were replaced by Neil Overend and Hadyn Reid.
Little Ant and Dec were sent off to interview Hollywood stars and were known for their cheeky demeanour and for playing pranks on their counterparts.