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Ant and Dec reveal they turned down SMTV Live two times
This morning, Ant and Dec reminisced over their time presenting one of the best-known children’s TV programmes of all time, SM:TV, alongside Cat Deeley. However, before the pair had linked up with the third part of the hosting trio, they revealed they were initially less keen on taking the tempting job offer and turned the opportunity down twice due to concerns about “doing the kids’ stuff.”
The Geordie duo have had their names attached to some of the biggest programmes in recent years.
The pair currently front I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! which ended last month as well as hosting Britain’s Got Talent.
However, fans might be surprised to hear their career in presenting nearly didn’t pan out as planned.
On Saturday morning, Ant and Dec joined their former SM:TV co-star Cat Deeley to go over their time on the hit children’s show.
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Airing from 1998-2003, it turned all three into household names and helped to launch their presenting careers.
But Ant and Dec today revealed they turned down the offer from ITV twice before deciding to accept.
They originally pitched the broadcasters a chart show-style programme, which was rejected.
Ant explained: “They [ITV] pitched the idea back to us and said “Could you do this on a Saturday morning, but do it for three hours.’
“You’re in your 20s, you’re out of work right, you’ve got no prospects and ITV say to you, ‘How about doing three hours every Saturday morning?’
“Not just for 28 weeks a year, but for 52 weeks of the year.”
However, it wasn’t enough to convince the duo, with Ant adding: “And we just went, ‘No.’”
Turning to his co-star, he commented: “Looking back now, the arrogance, would you call it arrogance?” with Dec noting: “Stupidity, just stupidity.”
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He went on to explain how they had been told by bosses it would help them “learn the craft” of presenting.
But Ant confessed: “Twice we said no, which is ludicrous!”
And despite quickly clicking with Cat when trying to find a co-host, the show didn’t get off to the greatest of starts.
For the first few months, the trio struggled to fill the three-hour-long slot with content.
Dec explained: “It was tough, doing three hours of live telly, we were absolutely getting hammered in the ratings and the shows weren’t great.
“It was a struggle to get any guests, they all went on the BBC. We needed to put in more and more effort.”
And hosts spoke of the lightbulb moment they had when doing Christmas panto in front of hundreds of kids, leading them to bring in a live audience every weekend.
“The minute we brought kids into the studio everything lifted! The minute you can interact with real-life people makes everything better,” Cat said.
The Story of SM:TV Live can be streamed on the ITV Hub now.
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