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Ant and Dec reveal why they’re ending Saturday Night Takeaway

Ant and Dec have spoken out on their reasons for ending their long-running TV show, Saturday Night Takeaway.

The presenting duo, both 48, announced last year that the 20th season of their primetime variety show would be their last.

With the new season launching on Saturday (24 February), Ant and Dec expanded upon their decision to wind the show down, in a new interview with The Independent.

“Twenty series just feels like a natural point to pause,” says Dec (Declan Donnelly).

“We don’t want to say we’ll never do it again. But we’ve both got families now. Our lives have changed dramatically. We want to step off the hamster wheel, catch our breath and decide what’s next.”

Ant, aka Anthony McPartlin, added: “It will be bittersweet, with lots of tears, but it feels like the right thing.”

Dec has been married to their former agent, Ali Lister, since 2015, and they share a daughter and a son. Ant is expecting his first child with his second wife, Anne-Marie Corbett.

At the time of their initial announcement about Saturday Night Takeaway’s end, the pair hinted that although there were no concrete plans to extend the show further than season 20, the door is not closed on a return in the future.

Ant and Dec have shared more about why they’re bringing ‘Saturday Night Takeaway' to a close (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Ant and Dec have shared more about why they’re bringing ‘Saturday Night Takeaway' to a close (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

“We still have a momentous 20th series to look forward to first so we will do our best to go out (for now) with a bang in 2024,” Dec explained at the time.

The best friends and long-time entertainment partners first launched Saturday Night Takeaway in 2002.

Although they co-hosted programmes prior to this, including the Saturday morning kids’ TV show SMTV Live, Saturday Night Takeaway marked the first time that they’d had ownership of one of their shows.

“We conceived it, we co-produce it, and it’s our names on the door,” Ant told The Independent, later adding: “To have our own show, with our names in the title, in the heart of primetime felt like a huge feat for two lads from Newcastle.”

Ant and Dec on ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ (Kieron McCarron/ITV/Shutterstock)
Ant and Dec on ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ (Kieron McCarron/ITV/Shutterstock)

The pair will continue to host shows such as I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, Ant and Dec’s Limitless Win and Britain’s Got Talent.

Elsewhere in the interview, out on Saturday (24 February), Ant and Dec reveal their dream booking for the programme, as well as their reasons for pulling another grand prank on TV music judge Simon Cowell.

The 20th (and possibly final) series of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway launches on Saturday 24 February at 7pm on ITV1 and ITVX.