Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway

Last updated

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway logo.jpg
Genre Entertainment
Created by
Directed by
Presented by Ant & Dec
Voices of
Opening theme"I Just Can't Wait till Saturday" by Will Slater
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series17
No. of episodes117 (+ 1 Christmas special)
Executive producers
  • Tom Locking
  • Kerry Hunt
  • Chris Mannion
  • Richard Barkshire
  • Laura Gallen
  • Iona McKenzie
  • Ruth Breading
  • Lily Evans
  • Ben Aston
  • Mike Spencer
  • Colin Farquhar
  • Sarah Webber
  • Patrick Carr
Production locations
Running time60–95 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production companies
Distributor ITV Studios
Original network ITV
Picture format HDTV
Original release8 June 2002 (2002-06-08) 
Related shows
External links

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (referred to simply as Saturday Night Takeaway or SNT) is a British television variety show, created and presented by Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (colloquially known as Ant & Dec), and broadcast on ITV since its premiere on 8 June 2002, enduring a four-year hiatus between 2009 and 2013, while its presenters worked on other projects. [1] The show's format, heavily influenced by previous Saturday night light entertainment shows such as Noel's House Party , Opportunity Knocks and Don't Forget Your Toothbrush , focuses on a mixture of live and pre-recorded entertainment and quiz segments, including an audience-based quiz involving the television adverts during a week's episode of one of ITV's programmes, and a competition in each series between the two presenters.


The programme proved an immense success for the broadcaster since its launch, earning several awards including Best Presenters at the 18th National Television Awards and the BAFTA for Entertainment Programme in 2013, as well as earning awards for the presenters. Its success led to several international versions being created, though most have been short-lived, as well as a special mini-series of episodes involving an adventure of Ant & Dec, that were later broadcast as a special episode during the Christmas TV season. An official Saturday Night Takeaway iOS app for iPod, iPhone and iPad was released on 15 February 2013. Since the thirteenth series, the programme airs its series finales in location outside of the UK, with the exception of the sixteenth and seventeenth series due to the COVID-19 pandemic, [2] and celebrated its 100th episode on 3 March 2018. During the finale of the seventeenth series Dec confirmed that Saturday Night Takeaway will return in 2022. [3]

Up until 2018, episodes were broadcast live from Studio 1 at The London Studios. Following the permanent closure of the site after the fifteenth series, the programme moved to Studio TC1 at the Television Centre in West London in 2020. The sixteenth series is the only series in the programme's history to feature pre-recorded episodes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saturday Night Takeaway returned for its seventeenth series on 20 February 2021 with a virtual video wall, and an ITV Hub-exclusive spin-off, Saturday Night Takeaway: Extra Helping featuring extra, unseen material from various in-show segments. [4]


The general set up for each episode is a selection of segments consisting of specially crafted games, comedy/entertainment films, participation by either a studio audience member, or unsuspecting viewer/public member, and a show finale consisting of a performance by a musician, dance group, singer, or group performers. Episodes of Saturday Night Takeaway are broadcast live during the weekend, during a prime time slot on Saturday evenings for the entire run of a series. Each episode is introduced with a line-up of what segments will be featured during its broadcast, along with an introduction of the hosts themselves (Series 1 only had the latter at the start) - from the seventh series onwards, this responsibility was given to a special celebrity announcer, who would not only give an introduction of themselves and the hosts, but would also state what viewers would expect in the show for that episode, along with an update on what was still to come before each commercial break in the programme. In the majority of episodes, the opening titles are preceded by a cold open scene involving the hosts performing a comedy sketch, similar to the cold openings of US light entertainment programme Saturday Night Live and usually with celebrity guests for the episode, which ended with them or the celebrities saying - "Roll the titles!"


Throughout the show's history, the programme has featured a variety of segments, some based on notable elements in Saturday night TV. However, Saturday Night Takeaway features a regular selection of segments that it uses frequently in the majority of its episodes. These segments include:

Discontinued segments

The following is a list of segments used on the programme in the course of its history, that have since been retired:


Filming for every episode is done both live, for studio segments and off-site broadcasts across the country, and pre-recorded for filmed segments. Live studio segments since the show premiered took place from Studio 1 at The London Studios, and included the backstage areas near to the studio for various sketches and banter by the presenters. Although the presenters are the primary cast members of Saturday Night Takeaway, the show also employs a variety of co-stars who would handle off-site segments. After 2018, live studio segments would cease to be conducted at London Studios following the conclusion of the fifteenth series, owing to the site's imminent closure and sale. Filming for the live studio segments were moved to Studio TC1 at the Television Centre in West London, operated and owned by BBC Studioworks, in time for the sixteenth series launch in February 2020. In March 2020, the programme suspended live studio segments, assigning these to pre-recording in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2016, the production staff and the programme's creators decided to air live finales abroad in other locations, as part of a new prize-giving format involving the provision of travel holiday packages to lucky recipients within the audience and around the country. The first finale to be filmed under this new format element took place aboard the MV Britannia while it was docked in Spain during its cruise journey. The format's success led to further sites abroad being used including Walt Disney World, Florida in 2017, and Universal Orlando in 2018. However, the finale for the 2020 series was originally planned to return to Walt Disney World, but was later retained within the UK at the home of the presenters, due to the UK going into national lockdown, both as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus and due to Disney closing the resort as a result of the pandemic.


SeriesEpisodesStart DateEnd DateAve. viewers
1 68 June 200213 July 20024.76
2 1111 January 200322 March 20037.91
3 613 March 200417 April 20047.86
4 62 October 20046 November 20047.97
5 1012 February 200516 April 20057.68
Special24 December 20056.22
6 616 September 200621 October 20067.22
7 68 September 200713 October 20076.25
8 616 February 200823 March 20087.27
9 614 February 200921 March 20096.63
10 723 February 20136 April 20137.82
11 722 February 20145 April 20147.61
12 721 February 20154 April 20156.91
13 720 February 20162 April 20167.71
14 725 February 20178 April 20177.94
15 624 February 20187 April 20188.43
16 722 February 20204 April 20208.54
17 720 February 20213 April 20218.50

Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Presents...

Starting from the thirteenth series, the programme began airing a mini-serial with each series focused on light-hearted comedy dramas starring Ant & Dec, and are primarily parodies of noted fiction genres from films and television programmes. The first serial, a parody of "whodunnit" crime mystery stories titled "Who Shot Simon Cowell?", focused on the presenters investigating the mysterious sudden shooting of Cowell at his birthday party. The popularity of the format for the programme led to additional serials being created: "The Missing Crown Jewels" for the fourteenth series, and "Saturday Knight Takeaway" for the fifteenth series (which was aired again on 2nd January 2021), both parodies of the spy espionage genre of films, in which the presenters operated for the fictional organisation "Honoured" to investigate important cases; "Men in Brown" for the sixteenth series, a parody of the Men in Black film series, in which the presenters join a special organisation involved in dealing with extraterrestrial species on Earth.

After the mini-serial is aired with each series, all episodes are later condensed into a special feature-length episode under the title of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Presents..., and broadcast in late December of that year. [7]

Episodes and Broadcast Dates

Ant & Dec's Takeaway on Tour

On 31 October 2013, it was announced that a live tour of the show, under the title "Takeaway on Tour", would be co-produced between Ant & Dec, James Grant Live, and ITV Studios. [8] Presented by the show's hosts, with Kim Gavin as the tour's artistic director, it featured appearances by various celebrities and performers and a number of segments from the programme, including an appearance by Ashley Roberts (who also performed at the shows) as the host of the tour's version of "Ant vs. Dec".

Demand for tickets was high, and led to extra dates and venues being added on 28 November 2013, along with some shows having their dates rearranged. [9] The tour ran for only one series of shows, between August 6 - September 13, 2014 across various cities in the United Kingdom, including London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow, and also in Dublin, Ireland.

International versions

The success of Saturday Night Takeaway led to the creation of a number of international versions:

Related Research Articles

Ant McPartlin English television presenter, producer and actor (born 1975)

Anthony David McPartlin is an English television presenter, TV producer, singer, comedian and actor. He is best known for working alongside Declan Donnelly as part of the presenting duo Ant & Dec. McPartlin came to prominence, alongside Donnelly, in the children's drama series Byker Grove, with both of the boys establishing successful careers as television presenters, in which they are most known for presenting SMTV Live, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, and Britain's Got Talent.

Ant & Dec British TV presenting duo

Anthony David McPartlin & Declan Joseph Oliver Donnelly are an English TV presenting duo, consisting of comedians, TV presenters and singers Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, from Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England. Formed after their meeting as child actors on CBBC's drama Byker Grove, they performed together as pop musicians PJ & Duncan, the names of their characters from the series.

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  2. Takeaway, Saturday Night (21 March 2020). "Thank you all for joining us tonight! Sadly that was our final live show of the series. We hope it sparked some joy when we all need it most. We'll be back next week with something a bit different. Stay safe everyone!". @itvtakeaway. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
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