Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway is back

Saturday: Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway; (ITV, 7pm)

Ant and Dec are back with Saturday Night Takeaway
Ant and Dec are back with Saturday Night Takeaway

Fingers-crossed, the latest national lockdown will soon be over.

However, that is unlikely to mean a return to normality just yet, and with socialising still out of the question, we will still need TV entertainment on these cold, dark Saturday nights. Thankfully, there is more light on the horizon, as everyone’s favourite presenting duo are back to cheer up the nation with “the happiest 90 minutes of the week”.

Although Ant and Dec have been on our screens a bit over the past 12 months, hosting Britain’s Got Talent and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, it seems an age since Saturday Night Takeaway was last broadcast in April 2020.

In recent weeks, new promo videos have been popping up, showing the pair and their co-host Stephen Mulhern wearing a variety of spangly outfits. As a result, anticipation has been growing ahead of the new run, particularly with the second series of The Masked Singer now over.

Last year, Saturday Night Takeaway was able to kick off its 16th series as normal, but the final few episodes had to be filmed without a live studio audience due to the coronavirus. ITV has already confirmed that this new series will also be filmed with a virtual studio audience made up of over 300 people, as they adhere to social-distancing guidelines.

In a chat with Digital Spy, Dec said: “Our audience on the night, on the virtual wall, will be an interactive part of the show… you don’t get that instant feedback, but that’s what we’re working on, on our virtual wall, to try and cut down delays to an absolute minimum and make it much more of a two-way exchange with our audience.”

So what else can we expect from this new series? Well, Undercover and I’m A Celebrity…Get Out Of Me Ear are both returning with some of the biggest celebrities taking part. They include tonight’s guests, father-and-son duo Harry and Jamie Redknapp, as well as Davina McCall and Sir Mo Farah in future weeks. The Honoured trilogy has now finished and there is a brand-new mini-series called Double Trouble in which Ant and Dec have been cloned and the clones have gone rogue.

The new adventure will feature the likes of Bear Grylls, Prue Leith, Rob Brydon, Alison Hammond and Jermaine Jenas.

Fleur East is also back with a new segment, while Stephen puts the boys through their Ant vs Dec paces. Popular pandas Bam & Boo (Ant and Dec in realistic prosthetic costumes) will return after appearing for the first-time last series at London Zoo.

This time they’re hiding out in Hamleys toy shop within a teddy bear’s picnic and they need the kids’ help to escape.

And finally, singer-songwriter Gary Barlow is live in the studio for what should be an incredible End of the Show Show.

It all sounds like like a jam-packed night of entertainment – who needs to go out on a Saturday night anyway?

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