Ant and Dec buy rights to Byker Grove

Presenting duo Ant and Dec have shelled out to stop themselves being shown up by their early projects.

The Geordie pair have bought the rights to their old shows, SM:TV Live and Byker Grove, to stop digital channels playing embarrassing repeats.

The move came after the TV firm which made the programmes, Zenith Entertainemnt, went bust last year. The programmes will now be the property of the pals’ TV company, Gallowgate Productions.

Dec told The Sun: “The shows are an important part of our history so we wanted to take over the rights. That way, if anyone wants to show them, they have to come to us to get permission.”

At one stage, the stars did have big plans for Byker Grove, which shot them to fame as PJ and Duncan. They planned to buy the show’s iconic studio in Newcastle and turn it into a real youth club.

They even approached ITV about making a show, called Back To Byker but ITV turned down the idea and the original Grove was bought by a developer

Ant and Dec host a new series of Britain’s Got Talent, which kicks off on Saturday April 12 at 7.45pm on ITV1.

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