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Editor Reports: Ant and Dec time for a change?

Editor Reports: Ant and Dec time for a change?

Have Ant and Dec finally lost their shine after years of over exposure on ITV1? asks our editor Doug Lambert in this edition of ATV Reports.

Once they were the ratings titans of ITV, guaranteed to deliver big audiences to ITV no matter what show they fronted.

Whether it was Pop Idol or I’m A Celebrity, Game Show Marathon or Saturday Night Takeaway, there shows were rating gold for ITV but could that now be at an end? Since Saturday Night Takeaway returned earlier this year it has been losing ratings week after week and Saturday’s edition sunk to 5.2 million viewers – well below the slot average for ITV.

It seemed as if nothing could touch Ant and Dec and the public’s love for them. Not even gong rigging at the British Comedy Awards could dent their reputation. When their shows were caught up in the Premium Phone-In scandals, and other irregularities, some thought that they would lose the public confidence; but that wasn’t so.

Despite the fact that they were executive producers on the series at the heart of the scams – which were produced by their own company, the public still loved them and while they lads are down to earth chaps with a great deal of natural appeal and talent it seems doing the same old over and over is obviously becoming boring for the ITV viewers. After all Takeaway is just a modern version of the Noel Edmonds’ vehicle Noel’s House Party and after a few years we all got bored with that.

It’s not exactly a good time for them to be losing ratings either with their contracts running out with ITV very soon. ITV has already made it clear it simply cannot afford to pay “talent” what they are currently because the cash in the kitty is running out. If Ant and Dec continue to lose ratings the broadcaster may wonder if the duo are really worth it.

I personally think its unlikely ITV will anytime get rid of the pair entirely, but exclusive deals may at some point come to a close. Possibly a rest of a few of the formats for a while, such as Takeaway, may work and they could be revamped and returned to at some point in the future to keep the ‘Geordie duo’ fresh.

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