Ant and Dec have revealed that Simon Cowell was not a happy bunny when he found out about their whopping ITV contract.

The pair have a deal with the network worth a reported £40 million – twice Simon’s £20 million retainer – and the X Factor judge is apparently a little jealous.

Britain’s most popular Geordies told The Sun that things came to a head when they were filming with the 47-year-old.

Dec Donnelly, 31, said: “We were filming Britain’s Got Talent and came into the studio the morning The Sun broke the story and the audience gave us a standing ovation. We were on cloud nine, but Simon just turned around and he was steaming.

“He hissed, ‘You’ve curdled my milk, you’ve soured my apple’. He was so unhappy. Simon can’t bear the thought of anyone being paid more than him.”

But Ant McPartlin, 31, said it was fun working with Simon again on the ITV1 show.

“We love winding Simon up, it’s great sport,” he said. “He falls for it hook, line and sinker.”