ITV primetime hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – better known by their joint moniker Ant and Dec – have said they plan to “take a break” from their long-running variety show “Saturday Night Takeaway.”
The duo have hosted 19 seasons of the show, which features entertainment and quiz segments, since it launched in 2002. It is produced by ITV Studios-owned Lifted Entertainment and Mitre Studios
This doesn’t spell the end for “Saturday Night Takeaway” however. In 2009 the two hosts also took a break from the show before returning four years later.
Broadcaster ITV – which recently extended its deal with the duo for a reported £30 million ($37 million) for three years – reassured viewers Ant and Dec would continue to front other primetime shows including “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!,” “Britain’s Got Talent” and “Limitless Win.”
“We love making ‘Saturday Night Takeaway,’ but reaching the milestone of 20 seasons seemed like the perfect time to pause for a little while and catch our breath,” said McPartlin.
Donnelly added: “We still have a momentous 20th season to look forward to first so we will do our best to go out (for now) with a bang in 2024!”
ITV managing director for media and entertainment Kevin Lygo said: “When you think of Saturday night television you think of ‘Saturday Night Takeaway.’ Over 20 seasons the show has become a cultural phenomenon, and while we eagerly anticipate what Ant and Dec have up their sleeves for the 2024 series, we completely understand their desire to take a pause, take stock, and think about what the next incarnation of the show might look like.”