antdecawards

Ant and Dec make startling revelation about their TV career

The Saturday Night Takeaway and I'm a Celebrity stars have worked together for more than 20 years

Diane Shipley

TV presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have reminisced about their long career in a new interview, where the duo shared a surprising memory. While the long-time friends didn't routinely drink alcohol before appearing on live television, they admitted in the chat with Glamour magazine that they had to present kids' TV show SM:TV Live the morning after they had been out to celebrate the new millennium the night before – and they didn't have time to sleep.

WATCH: Ant and Dec reflect on their 39 awards

Ant said: "We were on air that next morning. We were in Newcastle, so we drove down through the night and went live on air, slightly worse for wear. That was the only time." Dec shared that the pair would typically go out on Sundays, saying; "We used to go straight out from the show on a Saturday, so Saturday was a sesh. Sundays were a write-off!" Ant has sworn off drink now and is living a healthier life, having attended rehab and been arrested for drink driving in 2018.

MORE: Ant and Dec reveal they almost split up after Ant's drink-driving charge

ant-dec-laugh

The best friends and I'm a Celebrity... presenters met in the 1990s

Drinking aside. the Geordie duo clearly loved their time as children's TV presenters and revealed the insight that former Going Live co-host Phillip Schofield shared with them before they started their show. Said Ant: " I remember Phillip Schofield saying to us, just before we started SMTV: Live… 'It will be the best fun you will ever have on telly'." The star went on: "You know what the innocence and freedom we got on that show you don't get anywhere else. We could just mess about. It was all before social media, everyone was watching TV and the viewing figures were off the charts for a children's TV show. Everyone was talking about it. It was such fun."

READ: What is Declan Donnelly's net worth? Saturday Night Takeaway host's fortune revealed

The presenters moved on eventually, though, helming Pop Idol, the hugely successful I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and their much-loved evening variety show, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, which began its sixteenth series on Saturday. Dec told journalist Josh Smith that was always the plan, saying: "We always had one eye on doing Saturday night TV even when we were back doing mornings. That’s where we wanted to go to get a bigger audience."

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.