Saturday Night Takeaway: Ant and Dec make their triumphant return to the show
Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway made its triumphant return to the small screen on Saturday night.
Opening the show with a bang, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, both 45, coming onto stage to the cheers of the 300-strong virtual crowd, as Gary Barlow and Beverly Knight performed on stage together.
Gushing about being able to come back, Ant said they were ‘so excited to be back in the studio, things are going to be very different this year but its a privilege to bring you your Saturday Night Takeaway every week.’
It’s back! Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway made its triumphant return on Friday and gush ‘it’s a privilege’ to be able to bring the show back amid the coronavirus crisis
Dec went on: ‘For the first time ever we can see into the living room live of 300 people all at the same time.’
Joking about how they didn’t want the audience to misbehave while they were at home, he added: ‘Please all be decent, please.’
Earlier on, the Geordie duo starred in an amusing black-and-white montage that saw them bored at home for days as they waited for the return of the show, trying to keep busy with puzzles and baking banana bread.
As the show kicked off, Ant and Dec began by surprising teacher Mrs Crawley with an array of gifts, which they had done over the course of the year with the help of her current and previous students, to help celebrate her forthcoming retirement.
Delighted: Gushing about being able to come back, Ant said they were ‘so excited to be back in the studio, things are going to be very different this year but its a privilege’
Virtual: Ant and Dec came onto the stage to the cheers of the 300-strong virtual crowd
The show was a star-studded affair, with the launch show seeing guests including Harry and Jamie Redknapp, It’s a Sin star Olly Alexander, Gary Barlow and Beverly Knight making an appearance.
Stephen Mulhern left Ant and Dec in hysterics when he arrived at the studio painted entirely in gold paint, and wearing a gold tank top and shorts.
The presenter, 43, was on to introduce the Ant Vs Dec tournament, and pretended to do a back flip with the help of a stunt double.
He joked that he ‘said no’ to appearing on the show but ‘money talks’ before he showed off his painted-on abs to Ant and Dec, who couldn’t stop laughing at his attire for the evening.
Even Olly, who was the guest announcer for the show, joked that Stephen had upstaged him with his looks, even though the singer planned on changing his outfit every time there was a break.
Ant and Dec were required to play a game that mixed football with miniature golf on a course that was inspired by Mulhern and even featured a giant statue of his head, and Ant won his first gold medal of the series.
On Friday, Ant and Dec gave fans a glimpse at the ‘very different’ Saturday Night Takeaway studio ahead of the series long-awaited return.
The duo admitted the series will be ‘very different’ to those past, as they prepared to host the beloved show with a virtual audience of 300 people due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.
Tease: On Friday, Ant and Dec gave fans a glimpse at the ‘very different’ Saturday Night Takeaway studio ahead of the series long-awaited return
Ant and Dec spoke about the changes to the Takeaway studio during an appearance on Friday’s This Morning.
The pair were in the midst of rehearsals for the show Television Centre in West London, and revealed they’ve spent six months pre-recording content that will feature in the new series.
Dec said: ‘The show’s going to quite different – we have no studio audience here which is such an important part of Takeaway.
Changes: The duo have admitted this series will be ‘very different’ to those past, as they prepare to host the beloved show with a virtual audience of 300 people
Transition: Ant and Dec spoke about the changes to the Takeaway studio during an appearance on Friday’s This Morning
‘We’ve got a virtual audience but it’ll be very different. We’ve been getting the show together in very different circumstances.
‘We’ve had lockdowns and restrictions in place. But we’ve managed in the last six to eight months get enough VT stuff to get in the show, enough hidden camera stuff.
‘We’ve got a series – it’ll be different but hopefully no less fun and entertaining.’
While it’s likely Ant and Dec will have to adhere to social distancing with their celebrity guests, the duo have formed a cohort, meaning they’re tested regularly and do not need to stand two metres apart.
Changes: Fans got a glimpse of the new studio which features a vast screen for the virtual audience, as has been used in other ITV shows such as The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent
Hard at work: The pair were in the midst of rehearsals for the show Television Centre in West London, and revealed they’ve spent six months pre-recording content
Last year’s series of Saturday Night Takeaway was forced to air its last live episode without an audience due to impending lockdown, and ended with two highlights shows.
Joining the pair, former Big Brother star Davina McCall and Sir Mo Farah will also be pranked over the course of the new series.
Recurring skit Double Trouble will see a pair of Ant and Dec clones go rogue and will feature several stars, including Bear Grylls, Prue Leith, Rob Brydon, Alison Hammond and Jermaine Jenas.
Show regular Stephen Mulhern will put the hosts through their paces in the Ant vs Dec challenges, while singer Fleur East will front a brand-new segment.
On screen soon: The new series of Takeaway will feature the new recurring skit Double Trouble, as well as the return of I’m A Celebrity Get Out Of Me Ear
ITV have also confirmed the 90-minute show will be filmed in front of a virtual studio audience who will be in with the chance to Win The Ads, with Gary taking part in a spectacular End of the Show Show.
Ant and Dec will once again wear prosthetic costumes to play pandas Bam and Boo for the new series, in which they will need the help of children to escape from London toy store Hamleys.
There will also be a new Saturday Night Takeaway show on the ITV Hub, consisting of seven 10-minute episodes which will feature new interviews with Ant and Dec and be jam packed with exclusive behind-the-scenes gossip.
On screen soon: ITV have also confirmed the 90-minute show will be filmed in front of a virtual studio audience who will be in with the chance to Win The Ads