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Ant and Dec 'strongly' considered quitting Britain’s Got Talent over show’s editing

ant and dec
(Image credit: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Ant and Dec were fed up with their segments being cut

Ant and Dec have revealed they were “strongly considering” quitting Britain’s Got Talent because they kept being cut out of chunks of the show.

The presenters reveal in their upcoming autobiography Once Upon A Tyne, which is being serialised by The Sun, that the considered leaving the show in 2012.

One of the features of Britain’s Got Talent is how the pair interact with the acts, but they’d become hugely frustrated that these segments at the time were often being cut. They began to feel they’d be better off putting their energy into Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. And they also weren’t happy with Simon’s time keeping!

Britain's Got Talent 2020 logo

Britain's Got Talent is returning this autumn (Image credit: ITV / Thames / Syco)

It all led to them having crisis talks with Simon Cowell as they considered quitting the show.

Ant, according to The Sun, explains in the book: “It was on a trip to America, in 2012, where we had to have a serious conversation with Simon.

“The previous series of BGT had been especially tricky for us two. The audition days had been very long, which in itself we don’t mind, but after filming interviews and interacting with every single act, as well as making jokes, giving reactions and everything else we always do, we found that when the show went out on TV, we hardly seemed to feature in it at all.

“We began to feel that we were wasting our time doing the auditions because all the footage of the work we were doing was ending up on the cutting-room floor. And, what’s more, with Saturday Night Takeaway about to come back into our schedule, we could have been putting our efforts into that in January, when the auditions happen.”

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Dec went to explain that they told bosses at ITV they were “strongly considering leaving BGT”.

ITV informed Simon of their thoughts and the trio meet up in America to discuss their future on the show. Thankfully for fans the meeting went well, with Simon promising to make changes, and Ant and Dec have of course continued to present Britain’s Got Talent.

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell promised to make changes (credit: WireImage) (Image credit: WireImage)

The series will be back this autumn, resuming with the semi-finals. They will see the best 45 acts - including the judges’ five Golden Buzzers - take to the stage again. While the semis of Britain’s Got Talent usually run live across a week, this year they will be pre-recorded and air weekly on Saturday nights.

Ant and Dec fans will also get to see the pair again in I’m A Celebrity 2020, which is likely to be on in November.

For full details on times for Britain’s Got Talent and I’m A Celebrity see our TV guide.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!