Ant and Dec: We were emotional on our Saturday Night Takeaway return

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly with the best entertainment programme award in the press room during the National Telev
Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly with the best entertainment programme award in the press room during the National Television Awards at London's O2 Arena.

Ant and Dec say they are relieved to be back presenting another series of Saturday Night Takeaway.

The show has returned to ITV, filmed live in front of a virtual audience of 300 people due to coronavirus restrictions.

The pair told Claudia Winkleman’s new BBC Radio 2 show that returning was emotional.

Ant said of keeping his emotions in check: “Last week’s show was probably the first time both of us nearly went.”

Dec said: “It’s just so lovely to be back. It was touch and go at some points as to whether we were going to make a series live in the studio….

“It just feels really special to be doing something live on the telly and trying to unite the families … and unite the nation a little bit, and give us a little bit of joy for a Saturday night.”

Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway returned to ITV last weekend with an average of 7.3 million viewers.

The show opened with a black and white sketch of the duo staying at home through January and early February, looking bored and depressed as they baked endless banana bread and did jigsaws in their pyjamas.

Last year the show scored its highest viewer ratings, after airing without a live audience for the first time in 18 years.

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