US network woos Ant & Dec

Ant and Dec are set to conquer the US after signing up to host a new gameshow.

The duo will present Wanna Bet, in which members of the public wager that they can pull off bizarre or extraordinary stunts.

US broadcaster ABC has ordered a pilot episode of the show, which will also feature celebrity interviews and musical performances – and it could be turned into a series if the Geordie pair prove a hit.

The I’m A Celebrity… presenters – full names Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – are best known to US viewers from their brief cameo role in the film Love Actually.

TV executives have been ‘aggressively’ courting them for some time, according to Variety magazine.

The show’s executive producer Phil Gurin told the trade journal: “They’ve got an instant chemistry that you can’t manufacture. The British people watched them grow up on TV. These are two people who really like each other.”

The Wanna Bet boss has a good track record for importing British talent – he also brought Anne Robinson to the US to host The Weakest Link.

He said: “Less than 24 hours after I got on the phone with Ant and Dec, they said, ‘We love it, this is the one’. They like the tone of the show and what it can be. I was pinching myself, I can’t believe it.”

The duo’s former SM:tv colleague Cat Deeley has succeeded in the US as host of TV talent contest So You Think You Can Dance?