Ant & Dec face pivotal career moment as Saturday Night Takeaway rests

The presenters have been the darlings of TV for decades

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Ant and Dec attend the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Are Ant and Dec at a turning point in their careers? (Getty Images)
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Ant and Dec are Saturday night TV darlings, having been small screen regulars for the past three decades.

But with Dec having a young family and Ant and his wife expecting, and their recent announcement that Saturday Night Takeaway will be rested for a bit, could they be at a turning point in their careers?

The cheeky duo have plenty lined up for the near future. But entertainment and TV expert Lynn Carratt, from Press Box PR, has predicted that at some point “they will want to lessen their workload to give themselves a more balanced life”.

The Geordie duo met as child actors on the TV show Byker Grove, finding in each other a best friend and a TV partner who would go the distance. They also dabbled in music as PJ and Duncan, but it was in presenting that they really found their calling and it has won them countless awards.

Byker Grove celebrates its 10th anniversary at The Mitre in Benwell stars Ant Dec 10th Series
The pair met as teens on Byker Grove. (PA Images/Alamy)

“A brief pop career called and teenage girls across the country fell in love with Newcastle's finest – and even today, I still sing Let's Get Ready To Rumble – it was a banger,” said Carratt. “But, presenting was where they really found their niche and excelled.”

She went on: “Ant and Dec have been the darlings of Saturday Night TV on ITV for the past two decades, presenting the TV juggernauts of Saturday Night Takeaway, I'm A Celebrity, Britain’s Got Talent and Limitless Win. The duo are a comfort blanket for the nation.”

The TV stars announced last year that that Saturday Night Takeaway was coming to an end, posting a message on Instagram saying that they would take a "breather" after the 2024 series.

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV)
Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway is taking a break. (ITV)

“The show takes up such a lot of our year,” Dec said. “We just feel we need a little bit of a breather and that the show is going to take a little bit of a rest.”

They later opened up about their decision on This Morning, with Dec explaining that it felt like “the right time” to pause the programme.

He explained that making Saturday Night Takeaway was a year-long thing for the presenters, adding: “It’s really tiring and we've got a lot of other stuff on and our wives want us home for a little bit!”

The last episode aired earlier this month. But the presenters still have plenty on their plates.

"While they are stepping away from family favourite Saturday Night Takeaway after 20 years at the helm, they signed a new contract last year, worth a reported £30m that will keep them exclusively with ITV until 2026, which will mark their 25th year with the broadcaster,” said the press expert Carratt.

The PR expert noted that at the time Dec joked: "We can't believe we are reaching 25 years exclusively with ITV. Especially as we are both only turning 30 this year."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Winners of the Entertainment Programme award for Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly pose in the winners room at the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
The presenters have won countless awards. (WireImage)

Carratt said the pair – who are both 48 - are also heading full circle in their careers, by “giving us a bout of nostalgia” in their upcoming reboot of the show that made them stars.

The original Byker Grove followed a group of young people at a youth club in the North East, and the stars have said the reboot will see the cast navigating some of the challenges of today.

Watch: SNT: Ant and Dec close the final show with epic send out

Announcing the show’s comeback on Instagram last year, Ant said they were “bringing it back for a whole new audience as well as those of us who are old enough to remember it so fondly".

"Byker Grove will always be very special to us as the show which gave us our break, so we are beyond excited,” Dec added.

“The new show will simply be called Byker,” Carratt said. “It is said to be aimed at a primetime audience and will ‘engage with a new generation of teenagers navigating the different challenges faced by young adults today’.”

Although the stars have a lot on, Carratt thinks they could start to take things a bit easier, particularly as they have young families.

Dec and his wife Ali are parents to daughter Isla, five, and son Jack, one. And in February it emerged that Ant and his wife Anne-Marie have their first baby on the way.

"Whilst Ant & Dec will be on our screens for the rest of the year, presenting the new series of I'm A Celeb, Britain’s Got Talent and Limitless Win, I anticipate they will take a break in early 2025 to spend time with their families and have a well-deserved rest,” she said.

Ant McPartlin (left) and Declan Donnelly, aka Ant and Dec, arrive for Britain's Got Talent auditions at the London Palladium, Soho, in London. Picture date: Thursday January 25, 2024.
Ant and Dec arriving for Britain's Got Talent auditions. (PA Images/Alamy)

“Ant will have welcomed a new baby with wife Ann-Marie, and Dec is a father to two young children.

"And what can Ant and Dec achieve that they haven't already? While I believe they will continue to present the shows they love, I think they will want to lessen their workload to give themselves a more balanced life, and I predict we will see more of their work-producing programmes."