TV’s most popular duo, now hosting their 18th series of Takeaway, can’t wait to get the fun started and will be introducing a raft of hilarious new studio games as well as bringing back faithful favourites including Undercover, Win The Ads and On Air Dares. The Mini-serial this year is a spooky affair called The Polter Guys.
One of the new games is called Kidde-oke and features primary school children who adore singing and dancing. "We love having a laugh with kids," says Dec."We’ve done the talking pandas the past couple of years, which was so much fun and everyone loved it, so we’re really looking forward to this."
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway starts on ITV on Saturday February 19 at 7pm. So here, Ant and Dec, both 46, reveal the celebrity guests they have lined up, and those they wish form, including Elton John. The also give us the lowdown on other new additions for this series of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and reveal why they’re paranoid they’ll be pranked themselves…
For the past two years you’ve had to adapt 'Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway' because of Covid protocols. Will you have your live audience be back in the studio?
Ant says: "Yes! Hallelujah! Saturday Night Takeaway is all about the audience, whether that’s the audience at home or in the studio. We’re over the moon and can’t wait to have fun with them.
Dec says: "We couldn’t be more excited. The studio audience adds so much. We’ve really missed having one so we’re looking forward to welcoming them back."
Will all of the trusty Saturday Night Takeaway team be back?
Dec says: "Yes, Stephen Mulhern will be hosting Ant vs Dec. We can’t quite shake him off! Andi Peters is back to run our viewer competitions and we’ve given Fleur East a brand new assignment. She’ll be going up and down the country hoping to get viewers involved all over the UK.”
What other new games have you got up your sleeves this time?
Ant says: "As well as Kidde-oke, there’s one called Ring My Bell that we’re really excited about. We’ll be tapping into video door bells around the country and having lots of fun. The biggest event in the studio is the Happiest Minute and this series we’ll be doing that every week as it’s so popular. And Undercover and Get Out Of Me Ear will be back. It wouldn’t be Takeaway without those two. There's a new game involving a lift. We filmed it with unsuspecting members of the public. They didn’t know they were playing a game show until they got in the lift and it started speaking to them. There’s a different game on every floor. You can cash out on any level or keep playing to win the top prize.
Dec says: "The lift game is called Level Up, and if you make it all the way up, we’re on the top floor of the venue waiting with the jackpot, a suitcase of money. In years gone by we’ve hijacked a coffee drive-thru and photo booths. This year we took over the security checkpoints at the O2; the bag scans, the face recognition and the body scanners and messed with the general public whilst they’re trying to get into the O2….much to their frustration!"
Which famous faces will you be pranking this time round?
Ant says: "We did an Undercover on Jeremy Clarkson down at his farm (Diddly Squat Farm in the Cotswolds that features on his Sky series). You may have read about that in the press."Dec says: We can neither confirm nor deny if those stories were about us….but they were! So stay tuned for that.
"We always worry about celebs gunning to get their own back. We thought for a while that Gordon Ramsey would get his revenge. He was very angry when we pranked him over in LA. Whenever we’re in a taxi and they take a wrong turn, or we’re in the studio and weird things happen, we immediately think it’s an Undercover on us."
Dec says: "Even in a restaurant when the waiter spills a drink, we think ‘Hang on, is this an Undercover?’. We’re in constant fear. We always look around and check for hidden cameras!"
What can you reveal about this year’s mini-serial The Polter Guys?
Ant says: "It’s a homage to Ghostbusters. It’s called The Polter Guys. Dec has sold his soul to the devil in return for Ant & Dec’s television success but then the devil comes back to have what is his. It was loads of fun shooting it."
Dec says: "It’s a cameo fest! We have guest appearances from Rob Delaney, Jo Brand, Omid Djalili, Roman Kemp, Fred Sirieix, Tom Allen and Sally Phillips. Rob Delaney plays the devil and he’s devilishly good."
Have you started planning the 'End of The Show Shows'?
Ant says: "Indeed we have."
Dec says: "We’ve started rehearsing and some are quite elaborate performances. One in particular is something we have never done before."
Ant says: "I think it will be quite the surprise, hopefully a good one! Which celebrities do you dream of having on Takeaway? We would love to get Elton John on the show to sing Saturday. He’s definitely on our wishlist."
I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.
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