Tonight Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway makes its return to ITV with shed load of live TV surprises and star-studded names. Magician and presenter Stephen Mulhern joins the duo as the new host of Ant Vs Dec, while Kevin Whately and Emilia Fox star in murder-mystery spoof, Who Shot Simon Cowell?
Since its debut in 2002, this much-loved Ant and Dec vehicle has wowed with A-list showbiz guests, high-octane stunts and challenges, celebrity undercover set-ups and surprises for the studio audience and unsuspecting viewers watching at home.
Picking just a few of the highlights wasn’t easy but, after MUCH discussion, here are our top five Saturday Night Takeaway moments…
1. Undercover bags One Direction
Back when the heartthrobs were a five-piece band in 2013, they thought they were being interviewed for New Zealand TV. But they weren’t – it was Ant.
You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a disguised Dec pretending to be a Directioner!
2. Louis Walsh’s banana phone
Former X Factor judge was brilliant craic in I’m A Celebrity Get Out Of Me Ear! in 2013. The Irishman let puppet masters Ant and Dec pull the strings as he showed unsuspecting painters and decorators around his house.
At one point, Louis used a banana as a phone and pretended to speak to Dannii Minogue. Little wonder Ant and Dec roared with laughter – as did viewers!
3. PJ and Duncan return!
In 2013, Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble (yep, that really was the spelling) made it to the top of the UK Singles Chart, 19 years after its original release.
Why? Because the video of Ant and Dec turning back the clock as PJ and Duncan – complete with dance moves, baggy pullovers and trainers – went viral. And it was absolutely wicked!
4. Simon’s not amused
In 2003, music mogul Simon Cowell was a panellist on American Idol alongside fellow judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. How he didn’t twig earlier that the ‘brothers’ auditioning before him were Ant and Dec is a mystery.
Yes, they’d donned wigs and prosthetic make-up, but it’s still pretty funny to watch an exasperated Simon look on with disdain as the pair bumbled their way through a cringy rendition of Paula’s hit Opposites Attract. To give Simon credit, he finally started to smell a rat near the end.
5. Gordon Ramsay explodes
IT was no surprise when the celebrity chef lost his cool with ‘Juan’ and ‘Juan Junior’ (guess who?) as the hapless handymen caused havoc on the set of Gordon’s US MasterChef series in 2014.
Disguised as Latino men, the Geordie duo made noise on set whenever Gordon tried to speak his lines and an unappetising-looking burrito was left on his mobile phone.
Gordon’s expletive-laden exclamations are TV gold.
The new series of Saturday Night Takeaway begins tonight on ITV at 7pm. Enjoy!